Re: "Death no more – We cannot support a system that is both imperfect and irreversible," April 15 Editorials.
I applaud The Dallas Morning News. As the editorial points out, the death penalty is "both imperfect and irreversible," which has led to wrenching cases of innocent people being released from death row and the strong possibility that innocent men have been put to death.
Years of study have shown that the death penalty does little to deter crime and that defendants' likelihood of being sentenced to death depends heavily on whether they are rich or poor and the race of their victims.
Fortunately, there also have been signs of progress. Governors who oppose capital punishment have been elected in several states, including Virginia and Maryland. Executions in 2006 were at a 10-year low. And legislators have mounted serious efforts to abolish the death penalty in Maryland, Montana, Nebraska and New Mexico.
Those actions and your call to abolish the death penalty are signs that we are getting closer to a time when we can end capital punishment and restore some measure of fairness and integrity to our criminal justice system.
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., Washington