Letters to the Editor

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RAMPAGE: Death penalty serves no purpose but revenge

Letter by David L. Dittemore, Tacoma on March 15, 2012 at 11:04 am with 23 Comments »
March 15, 2012 11:04 am

Re: “Afghanistan suspect could face death” (TNT, 3-13).

We don’t know why the soldier committed the atrocity in Afghanistan. So what is the solution? Kill him? Yes, revenge feels good. But is that the best long-term solution?

I say we need to study people who commit terrible crimes – for years – until we understand the criminal mind. It is also a good example to solve our problems peacefully, not with violence.

Redemption is always possible. Maybe he could even return and apologize to the Afghan people.

Leave a comment Comments → 23
  1. Why is it that in this case, you view the death penalty as revenge yet if he had murdered just 1 child in the US the death penalty would be viewed as justice?

  2. Redemption is always possible.

    As much as I believe that capital punishment is not a good policy, I have to say that statement is rather pollyannish.

  3. There are only two things that will satisfy the Afghans:

    – His death (preferably by beheading by one of the victims’ relatives) or
    – Blood money (death payment to each family for each victium).

  4. Your statement saddens me, bBoy. If it is pollyannish to believe in redemption, then I guess my name is Polly Ann.

  5. Dave98373 says:

    There will be no death penalty. John Henry Browne is this unknown soldier’s attorney (If you don’t know who John Henry Browne is then you need to google this exceptional attorney…he is of high caliber). Get ready for a tired and long debate about the effects of combat stress and PTSD (justified defense or not). Prediction: This soldier/murderer (“alleged”) will not serve a day in prison and will spend the rest of his career in “mental health” facilities all the while collecting a VA related pension at taxpayer’s expense.

  6. slugoxyz says:

    Dave: What if there are mitigating circumstances to cause this atrocity? I realize you have convicted him already but shouldn’t he have his day in court? Would you prefer our soldiers get stoned or beheaded whenever they violate Islamic law? Tell you what Dave, go join the military. Go get injured or experience combat and then you can make fun of everyone with PTSD.

    Let’s see if this SSG is guilty. If he is not damaged and there are circumstances that would indicate that he was not in a sane mind, then he probably should be taken care of (on Dave’s dime). If he is sane, healthy and responsible for his actions, then he should face the maximum penalty the judge sees fit. That sounds fair right? Sorry Dave, you can take your robes off and put your phony little gavel down. You aren’t in charge of anything.

  7. slugoxyz says:

    I meant to say “damaged” not “undamaged”

  8. Dave98373 says:

    slug- get with me after this “trial” is over and let me know of a different outcome. You are defending a person whom you do not even know. Perhaps Western State has a room for two.

  9. Funny thing about our justice system…the part about waiting to condemn a person before he is tried and found guilty for his actions. You may not appreciate it now, but if one of your sons or daughters cracked and committed a heinous crime, you would be glad for the John Henry Browne’s of this world. I know I would.

  10. apologies to the punctuation police.

  11. He committed the crime on Afghani soil, and is therefore subject to their laws.

  12. sozo – there just are certain people who are beyond redemption – and I would include mass murderers amongst them.

  13. slugoxyz? “Would you prefer our soldiers get stoned or beheaded?…” -Yes. For this particular heinous crime? Yes- Yes – and Yes. All the more reason whilst in a foreign country? You need to behave yourself. We are not at war with the Afghanis. We went in there, tore up their country and we are no occupying it. Osama wasn’t even there! And to the letter writer? “Maybe he could return and apologize to the Afghani people?!” ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?! Oh I get it-Can you IMAGINE our nation saying MAYBE if the hijackers and Al Quaida suddenly found remorse, they could come back and just apologize too! Hey, the navy seals had it all wrong! Maybe Osama should have been given a chance to come to America and apologize to our nation!

  14. … “we are now occupying it.” In reference to my typo :0)

  15. madmike272 says:

    Frida, he is NOT subject to Afghan laws. There is no Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), and it is a combat zone, therefore he comes under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Please research before you embarras yourself!

  16. Madmike? Blakehouse? The absence SOFA and using UCMJ is nothing but institutional justification for our military personnel to commit war crimes and get away with it. With Korea for instance, there is an agreement with their government to be there. With Afghanistan, we INVADED them and now we are forcing OUR will for their government on them. Afghanistan and Iraq had no say to begin with. They were sovereign and did not ask nor want our interference into their affairs. It was our government’s arrogance that brought us over there and then our government’s negligence that has left us their. Our leaders have used and abused our soldiers. Using your logic and argument thus gives the same logic that the Nazi party used to justify their exploits upon Europe. Only thankfully, this act was not a systematically planned SOP and appears to be a rogue soldier.

  17. Frankenchrist says:

    We should trade this turd for SGT Bergdahl.

  18. Fortunately, bBoy, YOUR judgment about who is redeemable and who is not is insigificant in the big picture. The Cross is the symbol of God’s belief that the entire human race is not only redeemable but worthy of redemption, at least in the eyes of a loving Father.

  19. Dave – every here of the ‘presumption of innocence’ in our legal system?

    Status of Forces Agreements gives the US the right to retain jurisdiction over all Military Forces in a war zone.

    And least you forget, it was the lack of a SOF that precluded US Forces from remaining in Iraq.

    Sozo – to many people the Star of David and The Crescent Moon are symbols of God’s belief in mankind, or at least His belief in His Chosen People.

  20. I was not speaking for anyone but myself and those who believe in the redemption represented by The Cross.

  21. Frida, He is not on Afghan soil because he chose to vacation there.

  22. sozo – God’s redemption may or may not be provided but known of us have control over God. We do have control over men though.

  23. sozo – God’s redemption may or may not be provided but none of us have control over God. We do have control over men though.

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