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A recent News article noted that the U.S. Bureau of Prisons was sending out more than 1,000 letters to relatives of Oklahoma City bombing victims asking if they want to watch the execution of Timothy McVeigh. There is also talk of possibly televising the event. Now that's reality TV!

What is our society coming to? Have we regressed to the days of the old West, when hundreds would block the main street of Dodge City to cheer on the hanging of a cattle rustler? Is this some cockeyed view of how to impress morality on our children?

It is bad enough that movies and TV programs think they must show "reality programming" to the extreme, but for the federal government to engage in this farce is unconscionable.

The kids of today are so hardened to violence and death that this exhibition would not deter any of them from committing some horrendous act.

I feel compassion and sadness for the families of the bombing victims, but I don't believe that if they watch the execution of the person convicted of the crime, their grief will be washed away. The "closure" so many are looking for will not be there.

We have too many double standards and too much hypocrisy in our country. The Rev. Jesse Jackson proves he is human at the same time he's getting good press counseling the president. People quote the Bible and other books of faith, but only apply those passages that conform to their particular beliefs and ignore those that contradict.

Either we honor life, every life, or we regress from what we choose to call civilization and head back to the Dark Ages. States that have the death penalty require witnesses for executions. They don't need an audience. Our officials should be ashamed.


Niagara Falls

Copyright ` 1999 - 2000 The Buffalo News

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