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What ‘12 Angry Men’ could teach Gov. DeSantis | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Tuesday’s letters to the editor.
 
This is a screenshot from the trailer for "12 Angry Men," the famous movie that starred Henry Fonda as the skeptical juror.
This is a screenshot from the trailer for "12 Angry Men," the famous movie that starred Henry Fonda as the skeptical juror. [ Provided ]
Published Jan. 2

Getting it wrong

Fla. embraces death penalty | Dec. 27

Gov. Ron DeSantis should have viewed the film “12 Angry Men” about a 12-man jury deciding a verdict before instituting the new minimum vote of 8-4 for death. In the film only Juror 8 (Henry Fonda) questions the evidence and initially votes “not guilty.” Over the course of the contentious film, Fonda presents reasons to the other jurors for his vote. Gradually the other jurors are persuaded and “not guilty” prevails. In a set of 271 cases from four areas, juries gave wrong verdicts in at least one out of eight cases, according to “Estimating the Accuracy of Jury Verdicts,” a paper by a Northwestern University statistician published in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. With the new minimum vote of 8-4, one out of eight would likely skew even more unjustly. Short of doing away entirely with the death penalty, the bare minimum for death should be the original unanimous decision.

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

Sketch it out

Circuit courts editorial | Editorial, Dec. 27

I was truly awestruck by the map of the Circuit courts of Florida. Why can’t we draw congressional and legislative districts the same way?

John Avery, Gulfport

Not well spent

St. Petersburg’s proposed Rays stadium deal is a strikeout for the city | Perspective, Dec. 24

An old Brookings Institution study “Sports, Jobs and Taxes: Are New Stadiums Worth the Cost?” concluded that “...the economic benefits of sports facilities are de minimus.” In other words, sports facilities are public money not well spent. Surely we can find better ways to spend public monies than to build enormously expensive temples for these activities. If the owners feel they need one, let them spend their own money.

Richard Thompson, Tarpon Springs

Our numbers are up

Here’s why this isn’t ‘the worst economy in decades’ | Editorial, Dec. 24

This Tampa Bay Times editorial talks about whether it is or isn’t “the worst economy in decades.” One side wants you to believe the world is coming to an end 24/7, but, as the Times editorial states, the opposite seems to be true. The unemployment rate has been below 4% for the past 22 months, GDP is growing, inflation is falling, and the stock market is actually booming. Fear tactics notwithstanding, common sense would say that the economy is doing fine.

David Small, Clearwater