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Stop barbaric practice

Is it cruel and unusual to put a human being to death by lethal injection? That’s the question most pundits are posing in the wake of the execution of an Oklahoma man that went terribly wrong.

But that question is irrelevant. The man in question committed the most grievous crime there is: the premeditated murder of a fellow human being. No punishment is severe enough to mitigate what he did.

But the question of capital punishment should not be about how a convicted murderer is treated. The question should be about how administering such a punishment affects the people who allow it. It’s like how the Bible teaches that we should feel sorry for evil people. This lesson is not about evil people being deserving of sympathy. Rather it is about good people remaining good.

Of course, we must do what is necessary to protect our society from murderers and the like through incarceration. But killing as a form of punishment only serves to diminish ourselves as human beings. If we truly want to strive to improve our humanity, we need to leave this barbaric practice behind us.

Steve Barber



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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.