Letters to the Editor

Readers write about US convictions of foreign citizens, international sports competition, and spay and neuter laws.

Give foreigners arrested in the US due process

Regarding the July 31 article, "Showdown over a Texas execution": There is no doubt that Jose Medellin committed a hideous crime and deserves to be punished for it. However, he also deserves to be accorded every legal right to which he is entitled.

That has not been the case in his trial and conviction. Failure to accord him his rights reduces his conviction to the level, not of justice but revenge. Justice is not based on the premise of "an eye for an eye," but revenge is!

Texas will have its pound of flesh by carrying out the execution in defiance of international law. That will place every American who travels abroad in danger. We cannot expect other countries to abide by the rule of law when we defy it at our convenience. That is too great a price to pay for Texas' folly.

How tragic to see revenge win out over justice and the rule of law.

Raymond Rodriguez
Long Beach, Calif.

In response to the recent article on Jose Medellin's disputed death sentence: I understand the man confessed to having done this heinous crime. The International Court of Justice should have no say in what happens. I personally do not believe in any World Court or International Court of Justice. They do not represent the people of the United States.

Sherry Cox
Paso Robles, Calif.

Sports improve international relations

Regarding the Aug. 1 article, "Expat coach's Olympic plan": The negative reaction of USA Softball to Michael Bastian's coaching of the Chinese National Softball Team seems contrary to the Olympic spirit and the role of sport in building international association and friendship.

As an American, I felt honored that the Chinese are striving to develop excellence in one of our national sports. In many cases the global expansion of sport depends on the migration of skilled teachers like Mr. Bastian. Moreover, the growth of world competition should only help to improve the level of performance in softball. This is what makes the Olympics so special.

While serving as a Peace Corps teacher/coach in Nigeria immediately after that country won its independence from colonial rule, I helped to develop basketball, soccer, and track at a remote rural secondary school. It was gratifying when some of my students qualified for regional and national competition.

Developing countries often have a scarcity of coaching talent. In this climate, the successful introduction of new sports may depend on an initial infusion of skilled teachers from abroad.

It is regrettable that baseball and softball will soon vanish from the Olympic venue. Perhaps if more Americans were willing to teach these sports abroad, the idea of "world championship" might become even more meaningful.

David C. Woolman
Cranston, R.I.

Impose stricter spay and neuter laws

Regarding the Aug. 12 article, "In dog-walking, Saudi virtue police see vice": It is estimated that shelters and animal "control" agencies in the United States kill millions of dogs and cats a year for lack of a home. How do the Saudis control their pet population? Maybe we could send some of our excess dogs and cats to them, as there is probably a greater chance that their government would impose strict spay and neuter laws, whereas here, heaven forbid government intervene between a citizen and their "property" – a living, breathing cat or dog!

Andrea Fontenot
Shelton, Wash.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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