Re "Executions needed for monsters" (Marcos Breton, Nov. 4): As the descendent of a long line of Quakers and Protestant ministers, I might be expected to be a vigorous opponent of the death penalty. However, my extensive experience in forensic psychiatry gave me the rare privilege of evaluating some such individuals and testifying at trial.
It is an extraordinarily strange experience to sit in the witness stand looking into the eyes of a man who may well die as a result of your testimony. One such man, who kidnapped and killed innocent women in the Redding area, comes to mind. The prosecuting attorney stated that my testimony convinced the jury that the man should receive the death penalty, and when I heard he had died I felt relieved. Now judge me as you will, but in any case my experience gives me an unique and perhaps useful perspective.
-- Alfred P. French MD, Roseville
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