Thursday, October 22, 2009

Panhandlers in Austin, Texas.

In the Austin American Statesman, the Editor writes an editorial entitled, " Who's sensibilities would be spared by expanding ban in Austin?" The discussion on whether the panhandling ban should be changed from 7-pm to 7-am to 24 hours a day. In his editorial he quotes Susan Morris saying, "I really don't think that's the issue downtown." She goes on to say, " The issue is the rising crime rate. And it's not from panhandling. It's gang activities. It's lewd and drunken behavior." I agree with Susan Morris and the Editor to an extent. Yes, a person wanting to preach about enviromental issues and someone asking for 50 cents is the same thing, but no, I wouldn't want either up in my face. Just the other day my brother's girlfriend was in a bad wreck. While we were waiting at Brakenridge, my friend and I decided to go to the store to get some food since the cafeteria was closed. When we got there, I was SO intimidated and scared of the panhandlers standing on the sidewalk. It may be because I'm not from Austin, nor live there, but these people made me feel extremely uneasy. At the end of this editorial he goes on to say that even though it is for safety measures, it doesn't make it right. I may have mixed feelings about this subject, but I do know one thing for certain, Austins safety should be the concern more than people's feelings.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Death Penalty?

In this editorial, the author discusses the high prices of putting people through trials and being put on death row. On the New York Times Website, he states facts and firugres that show just how expensive the death penalty acutally is.
The intended audience for this subject would be the taxpayers in each state that abides by the law of death penalty. He points out exact figures and shows the public that not only is it immoral, it's costly with hardly any effects.
The editor states his arguement by saying, "states waste millions of dollars on winning death penalty verdicts, which require an expensive second trial, new witnesses and long jury selections." He goes on to explain just how much each state pays for keeping inmates on death row. These examples include Florida spending $51 million, North Carolina with $2.16 million per execution, and between 1978 and 1999 Maryland has spent $186 million for five executions. He claims that the economy doesn't need to have to pay for the death row costs when we are already in a debt crisis.
I agree with the Editor of the New York Times. We ares spending so much money when we need to spend it on others much needed things. Obviously the death penalty is not scaring people because there are more and more accounts of murder, increasing every day. This is definitely a debatable topic. But, in order to make an educated decison, there has to be a lot of research and evidence done. This article made me open my eyes to a new opinion, because I have always been on the side that says, "If you kill someone, you should be killed." But, in this economic recession, we don't really have millions of dollars to spare. Instead of putting inmates on death row, we should just place them all in a prison with no parole. This would be a cost effective approach that still has the morals of the initial purpose of the death penalty.