Death penalty

is barbaric

Re: the July 29 letter “Murder victims’ families suffer cruel punishment.”

I would like to share with the writer that the murderer (two-hour execution) forfeited his right to live.

However, as someone who used to support the death penalty, I suggest the following: Please take a moment to visit the Innocence Project website and see the number of innocent people who have been freed, not only from jail, but from death row. The number is over 300 people wrongly accused and convicted. What would you say to their family members when we have raced to kill them for the crimes they did not commit?

I feel strongly that all acts of murder are heinous and these people should absolutely lose their right to live among us forever. The cost of someone on death row is far more expensive for taxpayers than placing them in prison and throwing away the key. Abolish the death penalty in our country. It is barbaric.

See where the Jodi Arias case is now thanks to our state imposing the death penalty.

Craig Denenberg

Business consultant, Tucson

Ditch Facebook

for ‘Madness’ votes

Why is it necessary to log in to Facebook to vote in the Breakfast Madness? I went online to vote and it required a Facebook login. I don’t do Facebook and don’t plan to ever do Facebook. It seems like discrimination to me.

John Rieves

Retired, Tucson

Walls eventually

must come down

Re: the July 31 article “Rains, smugglers damage border fence.”

In Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall” is the famous line “Good fences make good neighbors,” a statement often misinterpreted as an endorsement for boundary-building. Since the comment is made by the narrator’s neighbor, a bigoted, paranoid “old-stone savage,” the line is meant to be ironic.

To prove the point, the poet-narrator says, “There’s something that doesn’t love a wall, that wants it down.” He says maybe it’s hunters, or frost heaving up the ground, or elves. He admits the need for walls for keeping livestock in, but concludes, “Before I built a wall I’d ask to know/ What I was walling in or walling out/ And to whom I was like to give offense.”

So maybe the current storm is giving us a clue: Nature doesn’t like walls, especially those that are ill-conceived, expensive, offensive, ultimately useless and eventually torn down.

Denice Blake

Retired English teacher, Tucson

VA provides

excellent service

I am a World War II veteran writing to express my appreciation for my recent experience with the Tucson Veterans Administration. The VA provided me with outstanding, timely and expert treatment.

I was losing my independence due to low vision. April 1, 2013, my 89th birthday, I gave up my driver’s license and was no longer able to read the newspaper due to macular degeneration. I called the VA and immediately was contacted by Dave Clarke at the Southwest Blind Rehabilitation Center (SWBRC). This was my first occasion to use my veteran’s benefits.

Two months later on June 24, I went to SWBRC for in-house training. I had nothing but good service and good care through the VA during my three-week stay there. I did not realize that I could use my remaining vision to my advantage in the ways I learned at SWBRC.

The VA program has worked for me. I am living life more fully now. The trainers are exceptional and caring. I am interested in commending the VA, and advise veterans with vision problems to contact the VA.

It is important that the press provide balanced coverage of the VA and report when they give veterans outstanding service and not just when the VA makes mistakes.

J.L. Lytle

Retired, Tucson