Back Talk | Letters to the Editor | Indy Week
Pin It

Back Talk 

Guilt and innocence

Your article "Sudden Death" [Oct. 25] seems to miss the conclusion that would worry me most if I were against the death penalty. If we are putting innocent people to death, then it only stands to reason that our prisons are filled with thousands of innocent people. The inmate mentioned, Lorenza Norwood, seems to be a good example of failing schools, but a poor case for a moratorium on the death penalty.

Defendants who undergo a trial for a capital offense are scrutinized much more carefully than people accused of stealing cars, selling drugs or robbing people at gunpoint. These people hardly have a trial at all compared to Norwood, who killed a store clerk by fire over the price of a bottle of wine.

Judging from the picture of Norwood in a high-school graduation gown, it seems ironic that he uses the defense of a low IQ to avoid the death penalty. I guess a low IQ in prison is fine, but a low IQ in the death chamber would be a travesty of justice.

I wonder how many people feel that Norwood needs to stay behind bars for the rest of his life, but that the death penalty is going too far. A prison cell is not humane; it is necessary after a complete and thorough trial, to protect society. Let's not fool ourselves. Are we a better society because we forget people doomed to prison and yet groan at the potential loss of a killer who wanted a better price for a bottle of wine?

A moratorium on the death penalty does nothing for justice if the innocent are spared death only to stay in prison. If you worry that innocent people are being put to death by the state, then you should wake up screaming every night about the prisons crammed to overflowing with the falsely accused.

John Valentine, in his Oct. 25 article on McSweeney's magazine, proposed that Neal Pollack, author of The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature, is really Dave Eggers. What is true is that Neal and his wife, Regina, were on tour this fall to promote the book that was written by Neal Pollack and published by Dave Eggers in McSweeney's first professional book-publishing venture. The main character in the book is a pompous, self-important journalist who puts himself at the center of every story, and he is the alter ego of the real Neal Pollack, who is a 30-year-old writer from Chicago.

Valentine is the second writer to jump to rash conclusions without doing his homework. The first was a writer in the San Diego Union-Tribune, and Neal's grandmother, a San Diego resident, was the first to discover that debacle. She contacted me and I wrote to the editors of that paper to reassure them that my son was real and was the author of that book. Now Valentine has geographically located me in Chicago, where I have never lived, and indicates that I may be fictional also. Pollack has the right idea in taking journalists to task.

  • Letters to the Editor

Latest in Letters to the Editor

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Letters to the Editor



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Please, Mr. Keen, inform us on what kind of person Hilary Clinton is. But please leave out the innuendo, unsupported …

by GorSun on Smug Revisionism (Letters to the Editor)

Thank you cleverweist1 and Cristel Gutshchenritter Orrand for the opportunity to stand up for what I believe in as a …

by half full on A Massive Scar (Letters to the Editor)

Mr Pollock makes some good points .
Noam Chomsky and Ron Paul have similar views on wars we have waged …

by CHHS Tiger on History you won't like either (Letters to the Editor)

Sadly, this letter, while well-meaning, is deeply flawed. The background check gun control law has failed but it can never …

by ProudlyUnaffiliated on No new gun laws! (Letters to the Editor)

For the life of me, I do not understand why folks keep yelling about their 2nd Amendment rights as though …

by cityfox on No new gun laws! (Letters to the Editor)

Comments

Please, Mr. Keen, inform us on what kind of person Hilary Clinton is. But please leave out the innuendo, unsupported …

by GorSun on Smug Revisionism (Letters to the Editor)

Thank you cleverweist1 and Cristel Gutshchenritter Orrand for the opportunity to stand up for what I believe in as a …

by half full on A Massive Scar (Letters to the Editor)

Most Read

  1. Recounting Him Out (Peripheral Visions)
  2. Safe Spaces (Letters to the Editor)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation