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Kathleen Parker’s Sept. 24 column “Let our doubts put a stop to death penalty” is misleading and full of it. Let’s look at a few facts, something the author might want to do the next time she claims that a pitiless killer should be saved because he might be innocent or innocent enough not to be put to death (whatever that means). I understand some people are against the death penalty and a rational debate is fine, but don’t flat-out lie about the facts of a case in order to trick the public into thinking that a coldblooded murderer is somehow innocent.

And so we are clear, Troy Davis’ case was reviewed by several judges, and there was no doubt that Davis killed a police officer in a crowded Burger King parking lot in August 1989.

First the author claims that “seven of the nine witnesses who once identified him as the shooter have since recanted.” According to published reports, The state of Georgia presented 34 witnesses against Davis, not nine. Among the 34 witnesses were three members of the U.S. Air Force (of note, none of these witnesses recanted a word of his or her testimony). Of the six who recanted their testimony (the seventh that the press has been talking about is deceased and did not recant a word of her testimony), none of them have said that Davis was innocent or made any significant changes to their story of what they saw that day.

A nonproductive drag on society has been put to death by the state in accordance with all the laws therein. I’m not saying we should be dancing in the streets, but crying on the courthouse lawn is absurd (and those who did should be ashamed). Kathleen Parker should never be allowed to be published in Stars and Stripes again.

Nate Conley

Baghdad

Use common sense uniformly

Recent articles on how the Army is looking at how fish oil might reduce suicides made me want to laugh. Department of Defense officials are always looking at exterior causes for their problems; they never look within.

They do not want to acknowledge that many of their policies are based on private agendas and make absolutely no sense — such as the anti-homosexual policy — and that many of their policies drive people nuts!

If DOD officials are serious about wanting to reduce the suicide rate, they should do one thing: make every rule, policy and regulation pass a “common sense” test. This will not prevent all suicides, but it will prevent some. DOD leaders will not like this, so it will have to be forced upon them, preferably by a civilian agency that DOD can not influence.

If DOD does this, I predict that the suicide rate will go down, morale will go up and DOD will save millions of dollars every year by not throwing it away on some commander’s “pet project.”

Congressmen who have no little or no military experience are intimidated by high-ranking officers who have it and thus tend to defer to their judgment. This needs to stop.

Common sense is common sense, whether you are wearing a uniform or not.

Tech. Sgt. Charles Lacy (retired)

Songtan, South Korea

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