Death penalty decision | Jan. 27, editorial
The issues with execution
In law school we were taught four elements are essential to justify criminal proceedings: restraint, deterrence, rehabilitation and retribution.
One might imagine a young man on the gallows, noose around his neck, responding to an old Wild West sheriff asking if he has any last words. "Tell the judge this is gonna be a good lesson to me!"
Capital punishment does not rehabilitate anyone. Yet, rehabilitation is one of the essential four elements required to justify all criminal proceedings.
Still we persist, failing to see the fly in our own jurisprudential ointment. Though victims may seek revenge for some strange satisfaction they anticipate from the state’s terminating the life of another human being, retribution by state-sponsored killing is not the act of a moral society.
And, absent rehabilitation (one of the four essential elements upon which criminal proceedings are justified), capital punishment is wrong. All four elements are required — not three — all arguments to the contrary notwithstanding.
Frederick David Graves, Stuart
Speaker releases volatile ad | Jan. 30
I’m an immigrant who votes
You would think politicians, after all these years, would come up with more original forms of whipping their electorate into a frenzy.
Yet here we have Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran resorting to these same race-baiting tactics long discredited. Why not be original and find some new way of stereotyping and marginalizing immigrants?
Resorting to this type ad to, effectively, declare yourself a candidate for governor speaks volumes. Instead of proposing intelligent, measured solutions, right away you go for the easy and splashy.
I resent this type of cheap, divisive tactic to drive a wedge between the people of Florida. I am an immigrant to this country, and I vote.
I will remember these tactics come Election Day.
Emilio Sanchez, Palm Harbor
A need for compassion
I applaud the article on Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s anti-sanctuary cities advertisement.
Without this coverage, I would not have watched this ad. As a result, I looked up information on Mr. Corcoran.
Imagine my surprise when I learned that Richard Corcoran’s own mother was born in England. I am stunned that he has no compassion for immigrants, given his background.
Melissa Pierce, Tampa
Sheriffs’ stopgap on detentionsJan. 29, editorial
An easy fix
There is a very simple solution to the problem of illegal immigration: Heavily fine the bosses who employ them. With no jobs in view, they won’t come.
John Starkey, St. Petersburg
5 interesting facts | Jan. 28
Who decides what’s legal?
Let’s put stuff in perspective. Legal and illegal is a concept created by people. Many laws are created for the public safety and to keep the order of society. Many more are to keep the status quo. Not too long ago it was legal to own slaves, and it was illegal to teach them to read. I equate illegal immigration with legal slavery.
Edward Emens, Zephyrhills
Keep religion out of schools | Jan. 30, letter
The original pledge
Judy Adkins’ letter is right on about keeping religion out of schools.
I would add, while we are at it, we should restore the Pledge of Allegiance. Two words, "under God," were added in the McCarthy era of 1954 amid the fears of Communism. Ironically, the pledge was written by a minister who made no God reference when it was first published in 1892.
Religion and God only belong in your house and place of worship, not in any public place, forum, licence plates, etc.
Alan Cormier, Pinellas Park
Tampa scores big with hockey fans | Jan. 29
Honor on the ice
It was a breath of fresh air this weekend with the National Hockey League all stars in town for their annual contest. It was wonderful to see how these athletes respected the community in not only how neatly they dressed but in their willingness to accommodate the fans. It was outstanding.
Additionally, before the actual contest at Amalie Arena they all stood for the respective national anthems. We did not see one player take a knee. That’s how it should be done. Bravo to all the participants for putting on a great show. Come back soon.
Joe Voskerichian, Tampa
Florida may take over wetlands permits | Jan. 29
To save wetlands, we need feds
Florida should not assume wetlands permitting from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency review.
The history of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, under Gov. Rick Scott, indicates that wetlands will be destroyed.
Wetlands will be destroyed for corporate and private benefit at the expense of public access and environmental stability.
Florida freshwater wetlands are already far too encroached upon. The two bills before the Legislature — SB 1402 and HB 7043 — would make it worse.
Freshwater swamps, such as cypress domes, are Florida’s heart and soul. It’s the ecosystem that supports the state’s unique flora and fauna.
Cypress swamps are interconnected with other habitats including pinewoods flats. These adjacent areas permit seasonal overflow, as well as critical range territory for wildlife.
Federal protection is essential for saving our wetlands for future generations.
Joseph Weinzettle, St. Petersburg