The death penalty shouldn’t be an option anymore.


End the death penalty

Regarding “Resumed federal executions raise death penalty’s 2020 stakes” (July 27): The United States should reject resorting to an archaic system of justice whereby modern society still paradoxically chooses to (premeditatedly) kill its citizens for (premeditatedly) killing its citizens. Each execution is like a wrecking ball to the pretense of a civilized society. Norms that allow for an eye-for-an-eye bloodlust should have long since been left to distant history, with no proper place for any vestiges in the twenty-first century.

Capital punishment is itself morally corrupt — all the more so given a system of justice that calls out for reform to remedy the too-often intrusion of matters of race, ethnicity and the shallowness of defendants’ pockets to afford competent representation. The ideal, while achievable, system is one scrubbed of excesses, absent skewed punishments like the death penalty.

“One ought not return injustice for injustice,” Socrates advised more than two millennia ago. Let’s hope, two thousand years later, the future augurs a more-enlightened United States absent state-sanctioned execution.

Keith Tidman


Common sense vs. blame game

The blame game has been around since Adam and Eve. Eve blamed the serpent and Adam blamed the woman. It has been going on ever since. The Republicans blame the Democrats and the Democrats blame the Republicans. I personally believe there’s such a thing as common sense. We the people pay Congress and the Senate to work together to help run this country. My belief, we should not pay them another dime until they start earning their salaries. There’s not a person, company or organization that one can not find some problem with.

Many people beat up on what Trump says instead of what he does. My opinion, he’s done more good for this nation in 2.5 years than Clinton, Bush and Obama did in 24 years. It’s O.K. if you don’t agree. This word “racist” has been going around when some people don’t like who you are or what you say. Many times it has to do with color of your skin. We are created in God’s own image and my belief, we should use the talents God’s given us to make it a better world.

W. Bryan Turner


Border concerns

I was disappointed when I received Sen. Thom Tillis’s response to my concerns at the border. My message was about the abhorrent behavior in the Facebook group that included Customs and Border Patrol officers. Also in my message was a concern about blatant human rights abuses being inflicted on asylum seekers. I laid out my shock at the treatment of children at the hands of CBP in the facilities where they are housed. These children should not be locked up indefinitely and must be provided medical care proportionate to their needs.

Tillis responded with a straw man deflection on Alexandria Ocacio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib. I didn’t mention either one of these women in my letter. He continued with a diatribe on socialism and how wonderful a free market system is for our country. I was left wondering if he even read my letter. If he equates the denial of even the most basic human rights with a political spat with someone over the nuances of an economic system, then he is in the wrong line of work.

Christopher Shaffer


NC Innovations Waiver Program

As a pediatrician at Duke Lenox Baker Children’s Hospital, I see patients who desperately require the NC General Assembly to increase slots for the NC Innovations Waiver Program. This largely federally funded program supports individuals with substantial intellectual or physical disabilities. This could be a boy with muscular dystrophy, who can no longer climb out of the family bathtub and needs a handicapped bathroom, or it could be a middle-aged woman with a genetic syndrome, who needs assistance on a day-to-day basis.

The NC Innovations Waiver Program currently serves more than 12,000 people. There are 12,000 people are on the growing waiting list with some individuals now waiting up to 10 years for an open slot. The NC Innovations Waiver Program is a high value, home and family-based cost-effective healthcare option compared with alternatives such as institutionalization.

Ave Lachiewicz, MD