Study needed on cost of having Ky. death penalty
On March 1, Jordan Steiker, a law professor at the University of Texas School of Law, testified in the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the abolition of the death penalty.
He stated that "this discussion is not about the morality" of the death penalty but was an appraisal of administering the death penalty.
After contemplating Steiker's statement and other testimony before the committee and after running my thoughts through the filter of justice, I have concluded:
Public support for the continued application of the death penalty is swiftly waning.
Current utilization of the death penalty will in no way prevent the execution of innocent people.
Race, unfortunately, continues to play a dominant role in determining who receives life and who receives death.
Life without the possibility of parole is a less costly more logical resolution to the death penalty debate.
As we continue to move forward during the 2012 session, I hope to see this debate continue.
Sen. Gerald Neal has a resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 190) that would establish a task force to study the costs of administering the death penalty in Kentucky. The time to study this issue is now. I hope that we can move forward with SCR 190 to take an in-depth look at all the costs of administering the death penalty in the commonwealth.
Sen. Perry B. Clark
McConnell off the mark
I found Sen. Mitch McConnell's Feb. 27 column so wrong in so many ways I was embarrassed he represents me in the U.S. Senate.
First, for religious conservatives the current debate is all about restricting the use of contraceptives by any means possible for as many people as possible, whether or not those affected are followers of their faith. This is where the real overreach is occurring.
Second, he's wrong about what is constitutional. If Catholics or Baptists, or any religious institution wants to hire employees only from its membership, they can clearly provide benefits in accordance with church law. However, they cross the line into secular law as soon as they hire employees from the public, even just one.
At that point their employees must receive benefits consistent with federal law, not church law. It is simple, constitutional, effective, and McConnell knows this.
Church organizations cannot use federal regulations to force their religious beliefs on any employee of a different faith. The constitution guarantees religious liberty for individuals, not organized religions.
Third, I was surprised by McConnell's willingness to publicize attempts by R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Kentucky's Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Jim Taylor, president of the University of the Cumberlands, and Bishop Ronald Gainer of Lexington to influence federal regulations.
It is a violation of federal law for officials of nonprofit religious organizations to represent their organizations in political debate. They should know this.
Basically, he got it all wrong.
Joseph P. Fox
No attack on religion
I would like to respond to a letter complaining that requiring Catholic institutions to offer contraceptive coverage in their employee insurance plans would be a direct attack on religious freedom.
Such a mandate is not tyranny as the writer claims. It is protection of the employees' rights. It does not prohibit religious practice. It tells religious institutions that when they step into the world of business and act as employers, they may not infringe on individual rights.
American Catholic bishops have very cleverly framed the debate in false terms.
Not my values
KET is running ads saying, "We share your values." No, they don't.
Most people are now against abortion and the KET crowd, mostly Democrats, are for it. The average man does not believe in Godless, no-fact evolution.
KET keeps racism alive by running endless programs on slavery and civil rights while most of us have gone past that long ago.
KET had a program promoting homosexual "marriage" for the 2 percent of the population, but none on the benefits of marriage for the 98 percent of the population, although I sent the station a list.
KETers are for high taxes, while the average person is not. People should ask the church for help, not the inefficient, corrupt government.
KET does not promote or even acknowledge our major value, Christianity, due to being afraid of the ACLU.
Finally, KET has a lopsided number of liberal programs compared to conservative ones.
It is not fair and not educational.
Vote for who helps vets
As a veteran of the Korean War, I ask all the families of Kentucky veterans who have experienced the many ways our Veterans Administration has violated its duty to care for veterans to join with me in a voting protest.
We should vote into Congress someone who will represent the veterans, especially to see to it that they do not die in vain defending our country. We should not vote for a senator like Mitch McConnell who confirms federal judges who are more concerned about the reputation of the VA than about the health and welfare of veterans.
Some years ago, a judge decided that a nurse who murdered a veteran in a VA hospital should spend only five days in jail, and then she should be allowed to plead guilty and be sentenced to time served. That was a complete miscarriage of justice.
Neither should we vote for someone like Rep. Ben Chandler who goes to the Veterans Center in Berea to pose for a photo opportunity, wanting us to think that he supports veterans.
Let us not vote for any magistrate, mayor, judge or governor who does not demonstrate support for veterans.
Elmer D. Isaacs
Hypocrisy on casinos
In a state that touts itself as the "Horse Capital of the World" and makes billions of dollars from the horse-racing industry and the lottery, it seems somewhat hypocritical to have defeated the casino gambling amendment.
For anyone with a modicum of good sense knows that "six in one hand and a half dozen in the other," is the exact same thing.
While I was not a proponent of the casino bill, nor any form of gambling, it seems as if gambling by any other name in the state of Kentucky is wrong. That is, if it is not horse racing or the lottery.
Juanita R. Moss
Reclaim our nation
Gov. Steve Beshear's constituent help is a grave disappointment, a pick-and-choose process based on what benefits the administration.
Power, prominence, politicians and money run this country. We, the people, have slipped into obscurity and passivity. We are all victims and each of us has a responsibility to stand up and reclaim our nation. Speak up before it's too late. Long may our land be bright with freedom's holy light.
That will only happen if we speak up and punch a hole in the government's control. "America. America. God shed his grace on thee."