I am deeply saddened by the state sanctioned murder of Willie Smith this week. Our governor says that “all life is precious” but apparently that does not apply to the life of an intellectually challenged Black man whose life was transformed according to all who knew him. I was glad to know that a small but faithful group of Christian people held a death vigil in a cotton field in Atmore. Although several miles away, that was the closest they were allowed to be in relation to Holman Prison. The Supreme Court failed to act on his behalf. Alabama’s execution rate is one of the highest in the nation, and it’s rate of exonerations (both before and after executions) is the highest, I believe. How does killing someone legally reduce violence? The United States is one of only a few “developed” nations that still uses the death penalty. To learn more about executions in Alabama, please read The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton, exonerated after many years on Death Row, and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.

Elizabeth Baker,

Mentone, Alabama

Send letters to the Times-Journal by writing P.O. Box 680349, Fort Payne, AL 35968. Fax 256-845-7459. Email emily.kirby@times-journal.com.

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