Re “Beyond rehabilitation,” (Monitor letter, Nov. 19):
Pam Pelton expresses her disagreement with Tony Soltani and many others who are against the death penalty on the basis that “there are evil people in the world and individuals who are beyond rehabilitation.”
As a prison inmate, I can confirm with certainty that there are indeed people who are beyond rehabilitation. However, there is little correlation between one’s offense and the capacity for rehabilitation. Moreover, whether a person can be rehabilitated is not a cogent argument for the death penalty. Indeed, life or long-term incarceration is certainly sufficient punishment.
Pelton cites the example of a serial child molester as someone who cannot be rehabilitated. But, rightly or wrongly, in Kennedy v. Louisiana, the U.S. Supreme Court held that under the 8th Amendment child rapists cannot face execution.
Pelton’s argument for using the death penalty on child sex offenders is based on the “pain and suffering” inflicted on victims. According to her, it is logical to inflict “pain and suffering” on a guilty party to show him and the world that inflicting “pain and suffering” is wrong.