The Norman Transcript

Opinion

February 3, 2013

Understand the facts in capitol punishment debate

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

In your January 31 edition, Jim and Ann Fowler wrote a letter entitled “Your View: Death Penalty.” I have thoughts on the issue of capital punishment, but I think you should have instead titled the letter, “Let’s Make Governor Fallin a King, and End the Republic.”

In the second paragraph the Fowlers wrote that Governor Mary Fallin should “get rid of the death penalty in Oklahoma,” and then in the last paragraph, they reiterated the point: Please, Gov. Fallin, take us out of the killing process and do away with the death penalty in Oklahoma.” They clearly believed Fallin can simply do this by decree because they added, “You have that power.”

It amazes me how far too many today have such little understanding and/or respect for our republican form of government.

The governor of Oklahoma has no more “power” to abolish the death penalty than I do. The governor does not make the law in Oklahoma, but rather is constitutionally directed to enforce the law.

The Fowler’s letter should be directed to the Oklahoma Legislature, not the governor, because it is the job of the legislative branch to make the law, not the executive branch.

At the federal level, the president does not make the law, but rather that is left to Congress.

The Constitution of the United States guarantees to every single state a republican form of government. Mary Fallin is not a Queen, and we have a republic, not a monarchy.

They concluded their letter with, “Indeed, Gov. Fallin, you would truly make history again.” She sure would.

If she decreed the end of the death penalty in Oklahoma, she would be subject to impeachment, our third governor to suffer such a fate.

I honestly think Governor Fallin is smarter than what the Fowlers give her credit for.

STEVE BYAS

Norman

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