Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Life sentences are too expensive


Byron Scherf was in prison serving a life sentence when he murdered Jayme Biendl. Now he is sentenced to two life sentences without the possibility of parole.

The Island newspaper reports the trial and sentencing of Joshua Lambert to 100 years in prison for murdering his two grandfathers. No parole.

Maj. Nadal Hasan murdered 13 American soldiers and wounded 30 others at Fort Hood, Texas. The court must now decide if Hasan should be executed or serve life in prison without parole.

In Spokane, Delbert Belton, 88, is beaten to death by two 16-year-old boys. Surely, these two lads will be punished with a life sentence without possibility of parole.

Each of these cases are only the most current murderous acts reported to the public. The perpetrators are found guilty by established courts of law and judged to be “outlaws.” According to the dictionary, outlaws are those who commit hideous acts, which prove they are no better than animals.

The average cost of keeping a person in prison is $90 a day. There are reportedly nine “lifers” incarcerated in Washington. If each of these felons live an average of 50 years, that would cost the state $14.78 million.

Why are we keeping these outlaws alive? Would it not serve the needs of the people of Washington state better if the money could be put to other uses? In some cases, the condemned have asked to be executed and in other instances, the prisoners are under suicide watch. Why are we maintaining a chamber of horrors where the condemned are forced to look at endless days of nothing?

Why keep the attitude that only God may take a life when the toll of innocent victims mounts steadily while the guilty enjoy a safe, secure existence behind bars with free medical care and accommodations to include three hots and a cot?

Is the general public seeking revenge by condemning an individual to sit in a cell, staring at the wall for the rest of their life without the hope of freedom? Isn’t that what life without parole means? Wouldn’t execution be more reasonable if the individual is judged to be beyond hope of salvage? If a person receives a life sentence without the possibility of parole, why not summarily execute them without additional appeals or staying tactics?

Why are we doing this? Why?



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