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Mail and Commentary Nov. 16, 2011

"Thank you politicians. ... Thank you religious leaders. ... Thank you corporations. ... Thank you neighbors. ... Hypocrisy and greed prevail!"

--anonymous (BW, News, "49 Million Americans Living in Poverty," Nov. 8, 2011)


Rhoades Execution

A society which condones capital punishment will always have a problem with murder. To "support" killing, whether by war, by the police, or by the penal system, cannot at the same time effectively stop criminal killing. To kill is to kill is to kill; there is no escaping the fact.

--Russell Webb, Boise


I was a special-education teacher in Idaho Falls in March of 1987 when Susan Michelbacher was kidnapped, raped, molested and killed by Paul Rhoades. I know for a fact he did not offer her fair or reasonable treatment before he killed her. Susan was a wonderful teacher, mother and wife whose life was cut short. Did you know she was pregnant with her second child when she was murdered? Words like kidnapped, raped, molested, killed are too tame for what he did to this woman. I hope he rots in hell. I will be at the gates of the prison when he is put to death.

--Janet Lang, Boise

The "Rule of Law" is established in mercy and sat upon in truth. Mercy is defined as being an example of the law and truth is the environment of safety we all need to flourish as individuals and as a society.

--Ophidia, boiseweekly.com

Comments at Facebook.com/boiseweekly about whether Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter should grant clemency to Paul Rhoades, who is scheduled to be executed on Friday, Nov. 18.

I would prefer a permanent time out. No more interaction with another human for the rest of his life. Ever. Weld the door closed and let him eat what they feed the kids in Biafra for 76 cents a day. But a civilized society cannot kill people.

--Carolyn Failla


I'm not against the death penalty, but I'd rather have him be miserable for the rest of his life. The downside is that it just costs the taxpayers more money.

--Sara Parker-Urbany


I feel for his family, I honestly do. But I'm far more concerned about his victims. I'd personally have him shot in public and made an example. Hopefully, that would prevent future crimes.

--Jack Peebly


Remember! This guy killed three different women on three different occasions. This was not a single accidental event. He changed all right, but that was a long time ago when he changed into a monster.

--Kipp Sherry


As the nephew of a woman who was brutally raped and murdered, I would love nothing more than for the animals who did it be raped and murdered themselves. This monster deserves to die, not live for an additional 40-plus years behind bars, getting three squares a day and cable TV. My only question is, what took so long?

--Jose Manzanares, Jr.


To me, the debate about the death penalty has nothing to do with whether or not a murderer has "changed" and is therefore "deserving" of clemency. For me, this debate is about whether or not the state has the right to commit murder in my name. Does this man "deserve" to be murdered? Probably, I suppose, but I simply do not believe that the state has the right to cast that kind of judgment. For one thing, the criminal justice system in this nation has proven to be really terrible at meting out this ultimate penalty with any fairness or consistency. For another, although the guilt of this particular criminal is not in doubt, the criminal justice system has proven to be nearly as good at murdering the innocent as the guilty. This is an expensive, unnecessary and cruel punishment in a nation that should be looking to be morally superior to base murders rather than stooping to their level.

--Lori Burelle