Sentence too harsh
I am grateful to Bob Ray Sanders for his recent column about the scheduled upcoming execution of Scott Panetti.
I am deeply disturbed by the prospect of Panetti’s execution, scheduled for Dec. 3, given his long-documented history of paranoid schizophrenia.
The fact that he was allowed to represent himself in a death penalty case despite obvious signs of deep psychosis and disconnect from reality is beyond belief and a resounding indictment of the Texas judicial system. It should give every Texan pause.
I can only hope that those who still have the power (and mental facility) to intervene will do so and commute his sentence to life in prison, which I believe is the most severe sentence we can fairly impose on people with lifelong mental illness like Panetti.
— Scott Ruthart, Fort Worth
Continue the fight
Let Texas Republicans celebrate their victories in the 2014 campaign.
Hundreds of thousands of people in our state are fed up with Republicans promising things like integrity of elections and secure borders. These phrases are cover-ups for the Texas GOP’s efforts to suppress Democratic voters and intimidate the Hispanic community.
We will continue to fight for free and fair elections and comprehensive immigration reform. We will call out the Republicans whenever they say they are working for minorities, women and the poor, then do the opposite. We will fight to rid our state politics of huge campaign donations and “dark money” flowing to conservative candidates.
We will continue to fight for rights and opportunities for all Texans, not just the big money interests.
— Laurence Pimentel,
And end to Alzheimer’s
For the past several weeks our nation has been wrapped in Ebola hysteria. It’s an awful disease and nothing written here should be interpreted as insensitivity to this health threat.
But while less than a dozen Americans have contracted Ebola so far (and most of them have survived it) there are currently over 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s Disease. None of them is going to survive it.
“Alzheimer’s Disease is the most under-recognized threat to public health in the 21st century,” says Dr. David Satcher, former director of the CDC and surgeon general. It’s the only leading cause of death in the top 10 for which we have no cure, prevention or treatment to slow its progression.
The one thing that will reverse these facts is a cure. The one thing that will bring us a cure is research.
The one thing our researchers need to find a cure is more funding.
Please call or write your U.S. congressional representative and ask him or her to support the Alzheimer’s Association’s request to include $200 million of research funding in the 2015 budget.
Let’s make our generation the one that finally finds the cure for this awful disease.
— Paul T. Morgan, Fort Worth
The audacity of action
President Obama is on the verge of usurping congressional power in a dictatorial fashion to solve the illegal immigration mess in our country.
Apparently under the guise of “prosecutorial discretion,” he will choose which immigration laws to enforce or not enforce, in the process presumably legalizing the residence of millions of illegal immigrants. Using such a broad interpretation of his executive power to substantively change the law is without precedent in peacetime.
The president has consistently argued in the past that only Congress has the power to amend the immigration laws.
However, since the Republicans have not caved in to what the president wants them to do, he claims that he is “forced” to do something that he previously found unconstitutional — and all this comes from a former constitutional law professor. Wow!
In my opinion, such anticipated action spells the beginning of the end of democracy in our country.
To get his way, the president is willing to create a dangerous constitutional crisis the likes of which we have never seen before, and in the process he will violate his oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United Sates.”
— William Brown, Arlington