Death penalty naïveté
Twelve people were tasked with arguably the most crucial phase in the David Westerfield matter, the life-and-death decision on his destiny. Society can rest easy amid a core assurance-a little less evil now walks among us, its chilling potential forever consigned to our nation's moral periphery. CityBeat recently declared that Westerfield's life should have been spared-no person, its editorial asserted, has the moral authority to condemn another to death [Aug. 28]. This statement is admirable in its generosity, but it also grossly overlooks the nature of the judicial process. The death penalty is meted out only after 12 jurors deliberate at a length entirely of their choosing; their decision is predicated on an elaborate set of judicial instructions and decades of legal trial and error. Indeed, no one presumes a moral dictate over another's right to life-precisely the reason our founding fathers made certain a representative body is selected in that person's stead. The editorial also acknowledged that Westerfield eventually would have rendered his depravity beyond poor little Danielle van Dam. Where there's smoke, there's fire, and Westerfield has indeed tasted the initial incitement to so incendiary an end. He therefore is hardly likely to concede to remorse, the prospect for which is contradictorily-nay, naively-stated at the end of the article. CityBeat would have Westerfield go sit in the corner and think about it all, availing himself of a “time out” amid the exhaustive harm he's visited on his peers. Such a punishment not only doesn't fit the crime; its effect, as the piece itself hints only a few paragraphs prior, would be lost on its perpetrator. The United States could likely abolish the death penalty in the relatively near future; recent indicators do illustrate a growing disenchantment with the process itself, to say nothing of its irreversible effect in the face of error. Until this turning point materializes, however, capital punishment is a viable option within the societal search for catharsis. Westerfield's atrocity sealed his fate. Should his jury condemn him to death, it will have met its legal and moral obligation in helping seal ours.
Martin Jones Westlin, Ventura
Thank you for your Aug. 28 editorial regarding the possible sentence of death in the Westerfield murder trial. California presides over the largest death row population in the country. This fact apparently failed to serve as a deterrent to Mr. Westerfield at the time of Danielle van Dam's kidnapping. Canada abolished the death penalty in 1976, the same year that the U.S. chose to reinstate capital punishment. Canada's violent crime has steadily decreased since that period, while the homicide rate in the United States remains the highest of all the western industrial nations.
Now with the sentence of death imposed on David Westerfield, what will prevent the abduction and harm of another young child in our community? We must seek alternative means to respond to violent crime. The extensive scrutiny and expense of a death sentence (about three times that of a non-capital murder trial) could well be used to study the root cause and act towards prevention of potential homicides. The promise of the deterrent value of state killing is an empty one.
Timothy Spann, Amnesty International, Group 137, San Diego Brimstone and fire
This is in response to an article printed in your Sept. 4 issue concerning Elijah Emanuel and the Revelations. First off, homeboy Elijah is a very confused person. He is so far from being a Rastafarian, a better title for him would be a “wolf in sheep's clothing.”
A true living Rastafarian worships and praises his imperial majesty Emperor Haile Selassie 1. Hence the name Rastafari. Rastafari is Haile Selassie 1's pre-coronation name-plain and simple.
All these fools who go around and say “Jah” yet do not worship Haile Selassie 1 are Satanists. Haile Selassie is the true living Jesus of Nazareth. All those dreadlocks (or should I say dead-locks), who wear beards and say “Yes I” are calling and bringing on themselves brimstone and fire.
Elijah is lost-him and his mother mix Santeria and all these white religions together. Rastafarians worship a black Christ, no white Jesus dead on the cross. Black Christ redemption seen. Poor, poor Elijah, a bunch of hippies who play pop musik (sic) for $2 fish tacos. What a revolutionary.
I-Man personally see this wolf. Please send this to them, the war is on and Jah rastafari Christ Selassie 1 has come to gather his true children. Burn out the devil Elijah-revolution has already been foretold.
Ras Hosea Inui, North Park
Packin' with pride
I have read several diatribes by Ms. Beak regarding the state of San Diego's new reporters and anchors. What starts out as an interesting premise [“San Diego Munch,” Aug. 28], that Kimberly Hunt fell victim to something she helped create in San Diego, totally evaporated. I mean, people like her started San Diego down the path of making this another Beverly Hills-the whole culture of liposuction, breast jobs and all the parties in the society section.
As a penis carrier myself, I think that Ms. Beak has a strong case of penis envy and also dislikes beautiful people. Snobbery is a character defect. Having a male organ is God given, and we men pack them with pride.
So, deal with it Ms. Beak, you are ugly and you have no penis. Maybe one day freaks will be in style and you will be in heaven on earth. Always, you are a stereotype and an anachronism and eventually CityBeat will show you to the door because you're act is tired and worn.
Mark Scott, Encinitas