Death penalty choice comes down to moral­ity

Orlando Sentinel - - OPINION -

I read with in­ter­est Sun­day’s edi­to­rial on get­ting rid of the death penalty (“It’s time for Florida to ex­am­ine jus­tice sys­tem, get rid of the death penalty,” Nov. 24). I agree with the con­cept. How­ever one line in the ar­ti­cle jumped out at me: “The moral­ity of the death penalty is a per­sonal call.” I could not dis­agree more. The edi­to­rial points out the in­equities of the ju­di­cial sys­tem, and yet would, ap­par­ently, leave such in­equities free to thrive in the arena of the “per­sonal call.”

The prob­lem is one of right and wrong. Un­til we can agree on what is right, and what is wrong, our sys­tem of de­fend­ing cer­tain be­hav­iors while pun­ish­ing oth­ers will con­tinue to be er­ratic and un­fair. John Adams, our sec­ond pres­i­dent, said: “Our Con­sti­tu­tion was made only for a moral and re­li­gious peo­ple. It is wholly in­ad­e­quate to the gov­ern­ment of any other.”

What is needed, there­fore, is an es­tab­lished code of moral­ity and ethics the peo­ple can col­lec­tively live by. Selec­tive moral­ity, and selec­tive en­force­ment of what is per­ceived to be law, will ren­der the law in­valid.

I agree with the premise that the death

penalty should be elim­i­nated. But I also ob­serve a “moral compass” that says “Thou shalt not kill.” That con­cept ren­ders abor­tion equally ab­hor­rent. Un­til we can agree on what is right, and what is wrong, we can­not hope to cor­rect the in­ad­e­qua­cies of our jus­tice sys­tem. War­ren Wright Lake­land

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