Thursday’s Letters to the Editor
Death penalty catharsis
EDITOR: Your article about the governor suspending the death penalty recited a bunch of reasons, pro and con, for that decision (“Halt of executions gets mixed reaction,” March 14). Yet the article was silent on an important pro-death argument. That argument exists, I suspect, with the majority of Californians who twice voted for the death penalty: It is that death by the hand of the people at San Quentin conveys a sense of catharsis for those of us who are regularly shocked, angered and seized by a sense of hopelessness when a cold-blooded killer isn’t treated in the same manner as the victim.
I’m not condoning execution for every murderer. I’m thinking of the worst of the worst and, of those, only the ones where not a shred of exonerating evidence exists. I’m thinking of Richard Allen Davis, Ramon Salcido, David Carpenter and others of their ilk.
A personal conviction against execution for each and every murder seems ill-suited to such perpetrators or to those of us who feel society, in some cases, should demand the ultimate punishment.
EDITOR: In 2016, The Press Democrat reported on $195,000 in independent expenditures to influence the Santa Rosa City Council election. The newspaper, its reporter Kevin McCallum and Sonoma State University political science professor David McCuan were sued in a defamation lawsuit filed by Sonoma County developer Bill Gallaher and his son-in-law, Scott Flater. A state appellate court dismissed the suit, unequivocally supporting The Press Democrat’s right and obligation to report on issues of public interest (“Lawsuit against paper tossed,” Saturday). In doing so, the appellate court stood solidly behind the First Amendment rights to free speech and freedom of the press.
A free press, with the resources and will to investigate, combined with the courage to seek and speak the truth, is absolutely essential to protecting and sustaining our democracy.
We may not always agree with The Press Democrat’s reporting or its opinions, but we should all be grateful that we have a Pulitzer Prize-winning locally owned newspaper committed to fulfilling its journalistic obligation to our community and to our democracy.
Stopping unethical acts
EDITOR: I was challenged to read the views from various colleges and universities involved in the currently publicized admissions scandal. While excluding the students involved may seem harsh, I agree that it needs to be done if their parents’ actions were ethical violations of stated policies.
It may also be true that the affected institutions need to revise or clarify their policies. I believe that the majority of the students, at least on some level, must have been aware of what their parents were doing. Even if they had no clue, the consequences of exclusion just may be what will prevent their cheating in the future for the sake of their own children.
Let’s take assertive steps to stop the unethical behavior now so that it will not be a continuing issue. Unethical acts always have consequences beyond those for the perpetrators, but future outcomes may improve if an aggressive stance is implemented now.
Trump and violence