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Killing each other won't make us safer

Reading Scott Shellenberger's and Richard E. Vatz's pleas for a reinstatement of the death penalty in Maryland reminds me of a proverbial ditty my mother was fond of during my childhood ("Maryland should reinstate the death penalty," Jan. 6).

She kept it framed on our kitchen wall:

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There is so much bad in the best of us,

And so much good in the worst of us

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That it hardly behooves any of us

To talk about the rest of us.

Arguing about what to do with "as we like to call them, the worst of the worst" may be a lawyer's passion. But an answer will never be found because humans will never be perfectible.

The plain fact is that capital punishment doesn't work. We may invoke abstractions like justice and evil in our struggles to live together, and we may call each other monsters. But killing each other will not protect us or make us better people — ever.

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Joshua L. Shoemaker, Towson

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