The newspaper’s May 14 editorial, “Done correctly, parole could benefit Maine,” suggests that a 1 percent death rate within three years of letting convicted killers loose is acceptable for the social benefit of not keeping murderers in jail for life.

Similarly, preventing extreme obesity would have many health benefits. What do you think the reaction would be to a cure that killed only 1 percent of those who were treated?

Would you be willing to post bond for those released, covering all civil liabilities for wrongful death or bodily injury they caused?

The paper’s “poster boy” has learned to work the system. Parole boards like people to show they accept responsibility. So, if a convict writes a letter to the family of his victim, he makes sure a copy gets to the board. It didn’t occur to the paper that if he was really concerned with making what amends he could, he would have sent the letter only to the family?

I was in Washington, D.C., in the 1970s. Robbers who wanted to leave no witnesses committed a string of mass murders in restaurants. The penalties at the time made no distinction between armed robbery and murder, and sentences ran concurrent, so why not? Penalties were stiffened, and the practice stopped.

England used to hang people for armed crimes, and had a low murder rate. It dropped the practice, and is catching up to our rate.

Life without parole sentences are given to extreme cases. The statistic the editorial cited gives no mention of what kind of sample is used.

Thomas Heyns, Chelsea

Comments are no longer available on this story