Moratorium on executions is necessary for justice USA TODAY is to be commended for its fine editorial calling for a moratorium on executions. It has become clearer than ever that a moratorium is a necessity (”Case against death penalty grows with new exonerations, ” Our View, Capital punishment debate, Friday). However, the accompanying Opposing View supporting the death penalty suggests Illinois is the only state that has failed to follow the rules in capital sentencing (”Faulty convictions are rare”). In the 20 other states that have released people from death row, did the prosecutors, juries and judges really ”follow the rules” when these innocent men and women were sentenced to death? The author of the Opposing View — Michael Rushford, president of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation — also cites evidence purportedly showing that innocent people are ”rarely” sentenced to death. Should we be comfortable with a criminal justice system that ”rarely’ ‘ sentences innocent people to death? A death-penalty moratorium is a cease-fire in a struggle filled with emotion and political rhetoric. Even in Philadelphia, a city that has sent more people to death row than 37 states, and is known to some as ”the capital of capital punishment,” the City Council earlier this month overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on executions in Pennsylvania. The death penalty is one of the most controversial issues of our time. A death-penalty moratorium, though, is something upon which we can all agree. If, as many death penalty supporters like to contend, the system is fair and just, it is incumbent on them to prove it. Kurt Rosenberg American Friends Service Committee Philadelphia, Pa. Motive behind moratorium USA TODAY states that ”85 people have been released from death row since 1973, either because of errors at trial or the discovery of exonerating evidence.” Actually, about 2,…

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