Re: “Our View: The death penalty wrong for Maine” (Jan. 11):

As I am a two-time survivor of the murder of a loved one, I have become as much of an authority as anybody on the death penalty.

Monika Malcolm was killed in July 1990 in Portland.

Pamela Burner was killed in July 1995 in Pine Point.

For beating Monika Malcolm so badly the coroner couldn’t tell the exact cause of death, Roland G. White sits in a concrete box in Warren for life.

In the classic style of “If I can’t have you, no one can,” David “Weasel” Merrill shot Pammy Burner dead, then escaped all punishment by killing himself.

Taking these two opposite killer “punishment” results, let’s chat.

Murder has no age bias. Men, women, children – all are qualified to experience this fate. Having the option for a special punishment for one victim’s murder is unfair to other victims.

Get this right: The death penalty is not a penalty at all. It is a release from further punishment – the body, mind, soul, all released from further punishment.

It’s true: The state cannot make the killer suffer as badly as the victim and survivors suffered. What the state can do is keep killers alive and suffering miserably.

Society is assured when we know where known killers are kept.

Trust me when I say that the death penalty is not closure for those left behind; we are still at a lifetime of loss. But if I were king, life with no parole would be the Eastern State Penitentiary lifestyle: perpetual solitary, no talking ever, no windows. True penitence for life.

Jon Huff