IT SEEMS to me that there is a bit of a straw-man component to Christine Flowers' argument concerning capital punishment. In the first place, her statement that there was a "blithe and utter refusal on the part of so many" to acknowledge that Clayton Lockett's suffering was not as bad as his victim's suffering can be supported only by anecdotal evidence at best. I don't know how many people Ms. Flowers spoke to, but in my own conversations with a number of people, most of whom oppose the death penalty, no one failed to acknowledge that the victim's suffering far outweighed whatever suffering Lockett experienced.

The larger issue, though, is Ms. Flowers' failure to address a simple point: One can be against the death penalty and still hate the crime and the criminal. Although I oppose the death penalty, it is easy for me to imagine having conflicting emotions when the crime is especially heinous, the victim is a child or the victim is someone I knew and loved. What I cannot imagine, however, is being the person who methodically straps the criminal to a gurney, searches his body for a suitable vein, inserts the IV line and injects the lethal chemicals.

If I cannot imagine myself doing those acts - to anyone - then what right do I have to expect someone else to do it for me? As a member of the "society" that Ms. Flowers refers to, I do not want my government committing homicide on my behalf, even if a way can be found to do it that is not cruel and unusual.

Matthew Pettigrew

Narberth

Why so upset over the inmate on death row whose execution went wrong? Big deal!

I don't think he suffered as much as his victim who was shot and then buried alive. Sounds like an "eye for an eye" to me.

Lynne Ciafre

Philadelphia