Published: August 28, 2014
Maybe the cost will touch hearts
The death penalty is incredibly costly. There's just no arguing with that fact - it drains tax dollars within the criminal justice system, and that results in delayed justice for other victims awaiting hearings on their non-capital cases. Other less-costly and less-public cases can be delayed months and sometimes years while a death penalty case goes on and on. Colorado's attempt at implementing the death penalty drains money away from other vital services inside and outside the criminal justice system. It's costing you, it's costing me, and it's costing victims of crimes.
If the concerns about the racial/economic/geographic bias of Colorado's death penalty don't touch your heart, and if the concerns about the innocent people who've been executed in Colorado and in other states don't touch your heart, and if the mixed message of state-sanctioned killing doesn't touch your heart - well, maybe the cost argument will. The death penalty is costing you every day and it does nothing to deserve that rate of taxpayer support. It's time to put an end to this failed policy, stop the drain of tax dollars, and put our resources into areas that prevent crime and truly assist victims.
Carla J. Turner
Time to end this money pit
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." This was a quote from Mohandas Gandhi that I truly believe in; I am hopeful for the future of the planet if we can begin to "see" the beauty of humanity again.
The death penalty has been in the headlines, and there is discussion about its merit. As a female engineer, I have learned to always do my research first. I have done a lot of searching about the merit of the death penalty. Pragmatically, what it comes down to is the high cost. Personally, it is also a moral issue. But putting everything else aside, the death penalty drains Colorado tax payer dollars, period. It is estimated that we spend an average of $3.5 million every year on death penalty trials compared to $150,000 for a life without parole trial (http://www.law.du.edu/documents/criminal-law-review/issues/v03-1/Cost-of-Death-Penalty.pdf).
At a time when our state is cutting programs and services across the board, should the death penalty really be a priority for that precious money? Unlike other states that I feel abuse it, Colorado has only executed one person in more than 20 years and we only have three people on death row. Yet, we spend millions every year to continue a system we just don't use.
It's time to end this money pit and spend the funds on better priorities. Then, my hope is that we can continue to reform the prison systems to truly be corrective - a true place to grow despite what anyone did. We must begin to see what Gandhi stood for, equality at all levels and for all people, has a place in our busy modern world.
People need to take back the city
After reading the letter "City looks like a slum", I want to add more factual comments about our city. Recently the city has done away with the traditional "Classic Balloon Festival", now everyone should know that starting Sept. 1, it will cost you to visit our prestigious treasure "The U.S. Olympic Training Center." What is next? The U.S. Air Force Academy?, Garden of the Gods? The Manitou Incline?
It's time for the people of the city to take action during the next election. We need to vote for the people that are truly going to represent the people and not for the politics, power and personal interest of special groups and businesses.
Hong Yu Preiss
Send Utilities a message
What a change in caring in the voice of Utilities CEO Jerry Forte. Just a few months ago, when the weather was warming up and the use of electricity would be climbing because of summer usage of air conditioners and fans the Martin Drake Power Plant went down and we the customers would have a pretty hefty increase in the price of electricity we use.
Utilities didn't care about the already high cost of its electricity - they raised the cost and City Council went along with it. Now CEO Forte wants everybody to know that the price of electricity will be going down. A few weeks ago Utilities announces that the water bills should not go up as expected on the SDS water system because they worked harder and faster to keep the cost down. When was the last time you have seen this happen?
I think the Utilities have their backs against the wall because if we the taxpayers don't agree to the added cost of storm water the utilities will face problems with Pueblo. Don't be taken in by Forte and Utilities bringing down costs to us - there is a reason. Don't vote for the storm water tax. Let's send Utilities a message.
Changes in education
So District 11 is finally deciding these standardized tests might not be good for children. Of course, had they listened to teachers all along, they could have saved themselves a lot of time and a load of tax dollars.
I resigned from my beloved teaching position after 27 years because I could no longer partake in what the corporate-driven changes in education were doing to our precious students. For years I tried to warn my superiors of these dangers, which were stifling the students' creativity, individuality, and love of learning. I was ignored. Dozens of other teachers quit for the same reason but chose not to say why.
Now we're finally figuring out that letting large corporations run our schools through the politicians they control is not in the best interest of our children (or our wallets). Of course, teachers could have told you that all along, just as they also could have told you that No Child Left Behind was ill-conceived and would result in a deeper segregation of schools.
Maybe it's time we listened to the experts who are in the classrooms all day long, instead of following the corporate puppet masters like sheep to the slaughter.