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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 2, 2012/ 10 Iyar, 5772

The Death Penalty Option: I Support It

By Ed Koch




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A New York Times editorial on April 27 continued the paper's ongoing campaign over the years to end the death penalty in the United States.

The editorial points out that only 33 states retain the death penalty. New York is not one of them. Wikipedia notes how that came to be. It reports:

"People v. LaValle, 3 N.Y.3d 88 (2004), was a landmark decision by the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the U.S. state of New York, in which the court ruled that the state's death penalty statute was unconstitutional because of the statute's direction on how the jury was to be instructed in case of deadlock. New York has since been without the death penalty, as the law has not been amended."

The Times cites a recent report issued by the National Research Council. The Council "has now reached the striking and convincing conclusion that all of the research about deterrence and the death penalty done in the past generation, including by some first-rank scholars at the most prestigious universities, should be ignored."

Why?

The Times editorial continued, "A lot of the research assumes that 'potential murderers respond to the objective risk of execution,' but only one in six of the people sentenced to death in the last 35 years have been executed and no study properly took that diminished risk into account."

Is it reasonable to believe that potential murderers were aware of the statistic that most death penalty sentences were not being carried out? I, having a scholarly interest in the topic, was not aware of this fact.

Putting aside deterrence, supporters emphasize a second reason for continuing the death penalty: society needs to show its moral outrage at particularly heinous crimes, such as the one committed in Connecticut in July, 2007. That crime involved the brutal raping of a 48-year-old woman and one of her daughters. Both daughters, one 17-years old and the other 11-years old, were tied to their beds and perished when their house was set on fire. The two men apprehended and convicted of the crimes in separate trials were sentenced to death. Last week Connecticut's governor, Dannel Malloy, signed a law abolishing the death penalty in that state.

Amazingly, after the incessant campaign by death penalty opponents, an October, 2011 Gallup Poll showed that 61 percent of Americans still support the penalty, down from an all-time high of 80 percent in 1994. I remain one of those who support the death penalty and, as of this moment in time, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision finding the death penalty constitutional remains the law of the land.

I do not believe there is a single case in the U.S. where academics and law enforcement authorities agree that an innocent person has been put to death. Yes, innocent people have been convicted at trial, but as a result of appeals, they have been exonerated before the sentence was carried out. Even if opponents were to cite such a case, I would still support having the penalty available as an option in particularly heinous murders. The reason being that many more innocent lives would be saved because of the deterrence factor.

Death penalty opponents always claim racism in the meting out of the penalty, conveying that blacks and Hispanics are victims of that racism. What they rarely state is that while proportionate to the population whites commit fewer murders than blacks and Hispanics, they receive the death penalty in greater numbers. The cry of racism by the opponents really stems from the contention that the murderers of minority victims are given prison sentences to a greater degree than death sentences, whereas the murderers of white victims are more likely to be given death sentences.

Those opponents don't urge that more minority murderers of minorities be given the death penalty in larger numbers upon conviction, but rather that no one suffer that penalty.

Also, did anyone at the Times editorial board consider what the effect on the murder rate in the U.S. might be if instead of one in six executions being carried out, six in six were timely executed and reported on the front pages of the Times and other papers?

Death penalty opponents certainly have the right to express their views as they have successfully done for many years, causing a reduction in support for the penalty. Regrettably, their editorials have frightened many in the public from speaking out in favor of retaining the death penalty for fear of being labeled racist when such a charge is manifestly unfair. I hope those "first-rank scholars at the most prestigious universities" supporting the death penalty (I don't recall the Times referring to their opinions in its prior editorials) will now speak out.

I also hope that other death penalty supporters get involved in this discussion. Don't be frightened into silence.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Edward I. Koch, the former mayor of New York, can be heard on Bloomberg Radio (WBBR 1130 AM) every Sunday from 9-10 am . Comment by clicking here.

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