Email Round-Up: Death, Fertility & Dads

Several of this week's columns provoked impassioned responses from readers, from furious opposition to enthusiastic agreement.

Matt Hayes' column, Why Conservatives Should Oppose the Death Penalty, sparked a fury of emails, with very few agreeing with the author, while Wendy McElroy's Father's Day piece was inundated with positive responses from men and women alike.

Readers were mixed on their reaction to Robin Wallace's column Fertility, Family & Freaking Out.

Here's a sample of this week's mail:

Justin Fischer wrote:

[Hayes'] article makes a great case against life imprisonment if one substitutes that term for "execution" or "capital punishment." I am certain many more truly innocent convicts have wasted their lives in prison than have been executed. Is stripping an American of his rights to live how and where he wishes much different than taking his life? It is, in fact, an imperfect system. But lessening sentences is the last thing the system needs.

Phil Steinert from Clackamas, Ore., wrote:

While I agree with you that all death penalty cases that can be cleared by DNA should be tested and cleared if possible, I still say, once a person is found guilty by DNA and sentenced to death, then do it. That is one criminal that will never commit a crime again. That is a deterrent to that criminal.

Brad from Siloam Springs, Ark., wrote:

What about this for a compromise — liberals give up abortion and conservatives give up the death penalty. This way everyone gets to live. Sounds fair to me.

Alexis Graham from Sherman Oaks, Calif.:

I find your logic flawed on capital punishment. One of Congress' duties is to protect the American people from crime. They do their best to protect us. They have made capital punishment an option for this country. But "big government" is not responsible for that option being exercised. The judiciary branch in this country is authorized by Congress to mete out punishment for crimes committed. They are the ones who put people to death.

Caroline Goodman wrote:

The problem isn't the death penalty but members of your profession not doing their job because they are either incompetent, lazy, uncaring or underpaid. Lawyers, not government, bear the responsibility for those unjustly convicted.

Ron Gotcher wrote:

As usual, I couldn't agree with you more, but there is one obvious omission, which I assume that you left out for tactical reasons. As a conservative, I have always felt that there is a major inconsistency between asserting the rights of the unborn, while at the same time supporting the death penalty. I am a former prosecutor and I have dealt with some pretty bad people. Despite that, I have never been persuaded that the death penalty is an effective deterrent, much less a socially desirable procedure.

John Rosenfeld wrote:

While you are bemoaning the "possible" wrongful executions of 78 people over a period of nearly a century, you show zero concern about the thousands of innocent victims who were murdered not by the government, but by criminals. You show zero interest in society's right of self-defense. Societies from the beginning of recorded history have recognized that there are some crimes that are so vile, some criminals that are so dangerous, that society must impose the ultimate punishment for the greater good.

David Huff wrote:

If I follow your thought process to its logical conclusion, then government should get out of all of the law making processes and leave justice up to the individual. If someone steals something from me or hurts a member of my family, it would be my legal right to exact justice on them without depending on our legal system. I think the correct term for that is anarchy.

Regarding Robin Wallace's column, Kristine A. Dorn wrote:

Finally, an author who has an intelligent comment on all of this baby business. Finally, an author who recognizes that maybe women aren't having babies when they're 22 because Mr. Right takes his own sweet time showing up. I'm 29 and haven't had a decent date in a year...not having kids isn't really a choice because it's not even an option! I'm tired of reading articles about how my selfish focus on my career will result in birth-defected children in my 40s.

Elizabeth Geho wrote:

I just wanted to say that I really appreciated this article. As a single woman, I have to agree with the author that most women I know would gladly be married and have children if they could only find a husband to do it with. I know of very few people who are giving up on marriage and/or children for the sake of their careers. This seems to be the exception rather than the rule. In my case anyway, it's rather the opposite. As long as I'm not getting married and having children, I may as well get on with my life and have a career.

Chris Foster wrote:

A point missing from this article is that our society has changed so much that there is little incentive left for a man to become a husband/father. The sexual revolution gave us immodest women to have sex with, without commitment, and the emasculation of the feminist movement furthered the divide. Since men don't have the same drive as women towards child rearing. It is no wonder that the women (and children) are the ones that have suffered most by our cultural shifts. The feminist movement has truly set women free — free from motherhood.

Amy Mclean wrote:

I absolutely adored this article, and I was actually able to quit fretting over the 29-year-old eggs that are drying up inside me by the minute. Thanks! A very fresh perspective — I sent it to my mother and grandmother so that they can stop worrying themselves.

Kathy Rhoades commented on Wendy McElroy's column:

It was so nice to see that someone actually realizes that fathers are getting a raw deal. I have watched my husband mourn as his daughter was kept from him on yet another weekend when she was scheduled to visit. Having fought for visitation of his first daughter 10 years ago, he knows all too well that his hands are tied by an unjust court system that will do nothing to enforce a court order against the mother.

I wish more women would realize the harm that they do to their children by keeping them from the men who fathered them, simply out of selfishness and bitterness. I would like to stand with the men on Father's Day, and let them know that there are women out there who understand their plight, and join with them in saying "Enough is Enough! Equal rights for ALL!"

Alex Spatz wrote:

I found your article on Father's Rights very interesting. It is a subject that is not often breached in the media. However, there was one aspect of father's rights that wasn't mentioned in your article and that is a father's rights when the mother wants to have an abortion. Our society doesn't give the father any say in that matter, yet he was integral in making it happen. Since the man and woman were equal partners in conceiving the child, they should be equal partners in decisions affecting the child.