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Denver Post Letter

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As Bill noted yesterday, the Denver Post has editorialized against the DA's decision to seek the death penalty for the Aurora theater mass-murderer.  Today they printed my letter to the editor on the subject.  Letter writers only get 150 words.

District Attorney George Brauchler made the right decision in seeking the death penalty for the Aurora theater massacre suspect. There are some crimes for which any lesser sentence is a travesty. Charles Manson has been grinning at America from his prison cell for decades, and now he is networking with his fan base on smuggled cellphones. That must not happen with James Holmes.

Many people have rightly expressed concern for the impact on victims of 15-20 years of appeals. Appeals do not need to take that long. Virginia executed the D.C. sniper less than six years after sentencing. Colorado can do the same.

Give every capital case one full and fair review. Restrict further appeals to genuine questions of actual innocence, meaning "got the wrong guy" and not "Twinkie defense." In cases with no doubt of the identity of the perpetrator, which includes most capital cases, one review is enough.

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