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LETTERS

Ala. execution by gas is the very definition of cruel and unusual

Activists protesting the death penalty had placed signs along the road to Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Ala., ahead of the scheduled execution of Kenneth Eugene Smith on Jan. 25.Kim Chandler/Associated Press

Re “Alabama hails nitrogen gas execution; others disagree” (Page A7, Jan. 27): I have never favored the death penalty. I am a physician and have spent my professional career attempting to comfort, treat, and heal the sick. Currently I work part time for a hospice. Given my lifelong opposition to the death penalty, I can’t help but wonder why this new method of executing people is considered some kind of upgrade. Forcing a human being to actively suffocate is cruel and unusual, which means that it should be prohibited by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.

As a Jewish person, I also feel that we should all be profoundly offended by legalizing gassing a person to death. Have we forgotten what the Nazis did?

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Dr. Rich Parker

Newton Highlands