Letters, Feb. 14, 1972

Capital Punishment

Sir / With regard to the TIME Essay, "The Death Penalty: Cruel and Unusual?" [Jan. 24], the main reason for imprisonment is the protection of law-abiding citizens and numberless future victims. It follows that as long as a life sentence means only a few years in jail before parole, as long as prisons are not secure and convicts can escape from them or continue from there to mastermind killings, as long as prisons do not rehabilitate, the death penalty should not be abolished. However, such a penalty should be used very sparingly and only in clear-cut cases of mass killings...

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