Letter Section

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This is only a selection of the messages that were sent to Dean Carter,
we thought those might be of interest to you too.

Dean, after coming across your web column, I decided to contact you by email. I'm German and I am totally opposed to death penalty in general.
Reason for this is:

1.)    No legal system in the world can claim to work 100% free of human errors, leading to the problem, that there can never be a conviction of
an accused person beyond any shadow of doubt.

2.)    Once you impose and carry out this ultimate sentence, mistakes can not be revoked.

3.)    It is easy to be proofed that capital punishment does not act as a deterrent for would be offenders / all statistics available proof this.

4.)    The right to life is the most basic right that needs to be granted to all individuals. Execution, even if it is done under a death warrant and legalized by the state is still a state sanctioned murder, depriving the victim of this basic right.

Finally, a lot of people argue, that an execution is more cost effective for the state compared to a life sentence. This is also not true. If you compare the costs throughout all trial proceedings and appeal processes until a condemned person finally is executed, the costs are far higher compared to a life sentence.
I have followed several cases as a very good friend of mine is M Ravi, a human rights lawyer in Singapore. Together with him, I have campaigned 
in several cases where death penalty was imposed under very questionable circumstances. We even achieved that official messages from Germany
ministry of foreign affairs and the EU have been sent out to Singapore asking for a moratorium of death penalty - however even these clear messages were ignored and turned down.
This world isn't getting any better as long as states all over the world are imposing and carrying out this sentence as a part of their penal code.
Killing is wrong and I totally agree that everybody who takes the live or dignity of another person needs to be punished seriously but execution through the state is also a way of killing and two wrongs don't make a right.
I feel, that a modern society and democracy must entertain other and more civilized ways of sentencing people and must acknowledge that due to the fact that no legal system is free of errors, death penalty should never be an option for a civilized community. It is medieval practice and needs to be replaced, acknowledging basic human rights.
Besides all these thoughts, I think, countries like the US or Singapore will never bend to the opinion of human rights activists, nor will they 
acknowledge any clemency appeals as long as there is no political or economical pressure or consequence connected to it.
Only a clear forecast for these countries, to loose their image or reputation or to loose market share on a world trade stage will slowly force them to re-think their practise.
All discussions going on about death penalty in the US are very pathetic and it seems that in public a lot of people just think of revenge for the victims, relatives or society. These people speak very easy and without deep knowledge about the facts and sometimes, I truly wish, one of them could be brought to an execution and made to turn the switch for the real thing himself. This would probably change their views and make 
them realize that execution in fact is the termination of a human being. It is not clean and nice just because it is done by the state it is cruel, inhuman and absolutely senseless.
There is a big global movement against death penalty and it is gaining momentum. In early February there is a big event in Paris (World coalition against death penalty) and it is held under the protection of former French president Jaques Chirac and German chancellor Angela Merkel.
So as long as you breath, there is hope. Please go on with your valuable column to spread the word to the public.
I truly wish that one day we will all be able to celebrate a worldwide moratorium on death penalty and a commutation of all death penalties into more reasonable sentences.
Keep the faith,

Hi I just wanted to write and tell you that I found your columns really interesting. I am a 2nd year student of Criminal Justice(working with offenders) and found your columns while looking for some stuff I can use for an idea I have for my dissertation next year - the difference between UK and USA prison systems. I am now sitting here really angry - not toward you but the society of narrow-minded, halfwitted, vote-led politicians and their followers that mainly use the guise of religeon ( where is their compassion and forgiveness??)who think it is humane to keep people such a yourself in sub-standard conditions and call it justice.
Sorry for ranting but it drives me mad - possibly not the best subject for my disseration as I am not sure I could be objectional. Anyway I want to say that I totally agree with the comment you made about society expecting people to have changed when released from prison without doing anything to help. I work with young people who are already or are on the verge of offending. I have recently done some work with a young lad in a Young Offenders Institute and tried to support him upon release. I got myself in trouble with the YOI on his release for stating that I thought 
they had failed him by not giving him the sessions he should have had - as a result of a short sentence and lack of provisions they said, but they expected that 3 months inside and then released back into the same community, group of friends and living back with his alcoholic mother would make a difference.He is now on the run again with people saying "we knew he wouldnt change" - well I wonder why - I feel so sad and angry that young people are not being properly educated and given alternative coping strategies when within the prison system. I do believe that if you have done wrong then you must be punished but if we dont try and change the thinking patterns of offending then how will anyone change?

I would like to no how the ban on smoking is working out.can they smoke at all or just out side or what?

Hello Arnold,
The smoking ban? No, there isn't any smoking at all. I think it created some problems at first. Luckily I didn't smoke so it didn't bother me. 
I think it is hypocritical for them to stop smoking for health reasons and still have the most unhealthy food they feed to prisoners. Typical politician hypocrisy though.
Thanks for writing,

Mr. Dean,
I have just finished reading one of your columns and I just wanted to say I fully agree that the system has made it far to easy to sentence people to death.  I think jury's should have to carry out the sentence if they feel strong enough to sentence some to death they should have no problem carrying out the execution. 
Thank you for your time.

Hello Dean,
My name is Maurizio and I am from Italy.
During a search on google I found your site for a coincidence. It was a bad moment in my life and I felt a bit lonely. I typed in the search field, in Italian, “Signore parlami” (Lord talk to me). It was one of these things one does across reason and feelings, head and belly, logic and the irrational. Maybe even there was a bit of bitter taste in doing it. I am totally sure you do understand what I mean.
Well the first site coming out from the search was your site and after clicking I was into your “column 28”. 
I just want you to know this. Thank you Dean for that column 28. It was useful.

Too many murderers are being held on death row for years which makes me angry because the money that is supporting them could be going to our children who are going down the wrong path which could lead them to murder or death row but without money or medical insurance they are left to fend for themselves while millions of dollars are used to house murderers who showed no compassion to their victims in their victims last hours or minutes of pure terror. What I do pray for is that everyone on death row takes the time to make peace with their creator because they are all loved the same by him!
Thank you for listening,

Hello Pal,
I got your message some time ago, but have been busy with other things and haven't had a chance to reply until now.
I respect your opinion, but think you are wrong. If there was no death penalty then ALL the death penalty trials wouldn't be taking place and all THAT money would be saved and go towards the children. 
As for your comments about murderers being held on death row for years and it making you angry. 
I am curious if you are also angry about the cases where some have been on death row for 23 (or more) years and then it is discovered that they are innocent? Or does that not count? Do you think it is okay to kill innocent people? You may have that terrible disease that seems to be so common in America, it is called 'half thinking'. People have a strong opinion about something, but you only think about the part that is convenient for you to promote your point of view. 
I also thought it was interesting that you wish for peace with the creator, what do you think the creator will have to say when it comes your time and your half thinking is being examined? I don't think the creator will be that impressed, but that is for you to make right I guess.
Thank you for writing and sharing your view. I appreciate it even if I don't agree and I wish you the best.
Take Care,

How come many websites write that Dean Carter is dead?

Hello Stefan,
Sorry it has been taken so long to get back to you, but I have been busy over the last few months. 
You ask about why there are people who say I am dead. I don’t know why that is.
There is a group of pro death penalty people, who have been posing as different people, over the last couple of years and they say all sorts of things about me to try and discredit me and my writing. They are supporters of the Death Penalty and they spread lies and misinformation and are just full of hate and anger. So I guess that is why they do that. 
I am alive and working very hard, but just on other things at the moment. I hope to do more writing in 2007 though.
Take Care,

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