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Current Affairs

This page is for kids in the Fox Cities to discuss current affairs. Write about anything that is in the news that interests you.

Dear Editor,

It is time to end an American tradition of cruelty, namely the death penalty. Surely there can be no question that it is grossly unfair. The death penalty is the ultimate punishment; it can never be undone. Judges, juries, prosecutors, they are all, like us, only human. They can make mistakes. They also, by nature, hold certain prejudices.

Take, for example, the plight of Wanda Jean Allen of Oklahoma, who is scheduled to die this January. Her trial was wrought with bias over her ethnicity, and her sexual orientation. The only crime she is definitely guilty of is being poor. Her state-appointed attorney had never argued a capital case before, and was paid a mere $800 for his services. Justice in this country cannot be based on lifestyle or money. It should be based on the facts of the case alone. Even then, the punishment is not fair.

Life is our most precious gift. We should defend it in all cases. How can we justify committing violence to prevent violence? Two wrongs do not make a right. If murder is wrong when committed by the accused, then it is also wrong when committed by the state.

Wisconsin has understood this for over a century, that is why we have no state death penalty. Several other states, likewise, have abolished the barbaric practice, but it is not enough. We must end the death penalty in all fifty states, and at the federal level.

Senator Feingold understands this. That is why he introduced the Federal Death Penalty Abolition Act (S. 1917) in this past Congress. This measure will end the federal death penalty, and is a critical step in getting the states to follow suit. Let us hope it is reintroduced in the 107th Congress, and that our leaders have the good sense to pass it.

Contact Senator Feingold, and tell him you support his crusade to end the death penalty. Also, contact Senator Kohl and Congressmen Petri and Green to encourage them to vote for the measure if it comes up in the next Congress. We can end this cruelty. As humans, it's the least we can do.

Michael Hengels
Neenah, WI

If you are a kid between the ages of 5-18 living in one of the Fox Cities you can contribute to this magazine! Please send an email to the address below to find out more.
P.O. Box 821
Neenah, WI 54957-0821

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