Letters to the Editor for the June 4, 2012 weekly print magazine: We can't apply a simplistic 'cost-benefit' analysis to the death penalty. Stand Your Ground laws give Americans the freedom to defend ourselves with force, but don't guarantee we will use it.
Regarding "The Monitor's View" of April 23, "Death penalty's fatal flaw": As a punishment more punitive than preventive, more costly than compassionate, the death penalty harks back to a different time in our nation. Yet we should pause before we assign a simplistic "cost-benefit" analysis to those who still support it: lawmakers, police, and, yes, victims.
For some individuals whose lives have been touched by violence, the death penalty is justice even as it might be vengeance. Empathizing with those individuals who have suffered may, in the long term, reduce further suffering.
There are parts of Walter Rodgers's April 30 commentary ("Florida-style gun laws sub impulse for thought") that I agree with, especially the recommendation that you try to talk your way out of a difficult or dangerous situation first. But while his recommendations are a good starting point, they should not be the foundation of state or federal law.