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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 23, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas 4A □ Herald-Zeitung g Sunday, February 23, 1997 Opinion ■ To talk with Managing Editor Micah Boyd about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, Ext 220. Herald-Zeitung Opinion Onlino contact ■ To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to simply contact staff members, the newspaper’s address is QUOTABLE ‘It’s not hard to slip from cyperspace to cyberchaos.” Louis D Boccardi news executive, 1996Some criminals deserve to die for their acts EDITORIAL Kudos (Kudos is a regular feature of the Herald-Zeitung in which readers can recognize the work    or support of individuals and organiza tions in the community. Send your Kudos to: Herald-Zeitung, 707 LandaSt., New Braunfels, TX 7BI30, or fax them to (210) 625-1224). ■ On the ninth of February at about IO o’clock in the morning, my wife saw smoke coming out of our neighbor’s house. She immediately called 911 and in record time our wonderful New Braunfels Fire Department came. It was a blessing to see these professionals at work. We citizens of New Braunfels can be very proud of our wonderful fire department. They deserve every penny they earn and t® then some. God bless them! Mr. and Mrs. Roy Schneider New Braunfels ■ Kudos to the dedicated AARP volunteers who figure our income taxes. Your services are indeed appreciated. Mrs. John P. Kerulis New Braunfels Write us Hie New Braunfels Herald-Zeitur^g welcome* letters on any public issue. Jive editor reserves the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors. Letter* (should be kept to 250 words. We publish only original mail addressed to the New Braunfels Herald-Zedurig hearing the writer’s signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included. Fleam* cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned. Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days. Mail letter* to: letters to the Editor cvo the New Braun felt Herald Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax: (210)625-1224 New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Editor and Publisher, Ext 201........................................Doug Toney Managing Editor, Ext 220 .............................................Micah Boyd Retail Advertising Manager, Ext 209 ..........................Jack    Osteen Classified Advertising Manager, Ext 214...............Karen    Reininger Business Manager. Ext 202..............   Mary    Lee Hall Circulation Director, Ext 228 ..................................Carol    Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman, Ext 205.........  Billy    Parnell Published (Mi Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the New Braunfels HeruU /ettang (USHS 377-XKO) 707 I anda Si., or P.O. Drawer 311328. New Braun leis, ( ouutl ( Minty, Tx. 78131*1328. Penodkal postage paid by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung iii New Braunfels, Texas Carrier delivered in ( omal and Guadalupe counties: three nuNiths, $20 SO; six months, $37; one year, $66 Senior Ciii/en Discounts by earner delivery only: six months, $33; one year, $62 Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas: three months, $30.30; six months. $55; (me year. $103 50. Mail outside T exas: six months. $78; one year, $118.25. Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 p m Tuesday through Friday at by 7:30 a rn. on Sunday may call (210) 625-9144 or by 7 p m. weekdays or by 11 am. (Nt Sunday. Post mas it a: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Hem Id-Zn rung, PO. Drawer 311328. New Braunfels, Tx. 78131 -1328. The American Bar Association, which claims to have 370,000 lawyer-members, recently endorsed a resolution for a moratorium on the death penalty. The group’s House of Delegates, whatever that is, voted 280-119, to urge Congress and the president to put an end, at least temporarily, to the death penalty. The group says that the “death penalty, as it is administered, is systematically unfair.” The ABA said the death-penalty system lacked the AB A’s standards of impartiality. No wonder our judicial system seems out of wack. What this sage group of lawyers really is saying is that despite all their efforts as the professionals who participate and operate our judicial system, they cannot seem to get it to work in such a way that they trust the outcome So rather than resolve to fix the system, they want to throw their hands up and say we should abolish appropriate punishment for hideous crimes because we do not trust the validity of the system we operate. What’s unfair about their resolution is that the criminals and thugs who deserve to die for their crimes will not be put to death. Now I’ve said it. I stand politically incorrect once again. Some criminals do not deserve to live. They do not deserve to be rehabilitated. They do not deserve special care. They deserve to die. With the average inmate on death row for more than IO years and with 16 levels of post-conviction reviews, what else is supposed to be done? Here’s a statistic from Justice for All, a group founded in Houston; “Of those executed since 1976,55 percent have been white and 38 percent have been black. Yet blacks committed 47 percent of the murders, whites 38 percent. In fact, white murderers have been more likely to be executed than black murderers since 1929 ” lf that statistic is accurate, doesn’t it undermine the argument that the system is racially biased? Let’s not call for a moratorium on the death penalty unless criminals agree to a moratorium on crimes punishable by death. What the ABA should have considered was how to limit the use of a defense of insanity. “My client was distressed and would not have killed if he had been himself” “My client cannot tell right from wrong. He didn’t know killing this child was a crime.” Can anyone really say they believe either one of these defenses is a legitimate excuse? It would be difficult to argue Let’s take a person who sexually molests and then lrills a child. * No one in their right mind would commit such a terrible act, right? Wouldn’t you agree then that anyone who would commit such an act had to be off their rocker? Of course they are insane. No sane person would commit such a despicable act. So what’s the point. This defense is simply invalid They did it, they should die. It really does seem that simple. I do not know whether the death penalty deters crime. That’s not really the point. What the death penalty does do, though, is proclaim that we as a society find some acts so despicable that the person who commits such crimes against another human being does not deserve to live. It's the only civilized position to take. (Doug Toney is publisher and editor of the Herald-Zeitung). 5U(B.MY^ia wick (brywrauloqrapti! foYxnane amirate?, mr J Tejeda left a lasting legacy for Texas, America On January 30 Texas lost a great leader whose legendary courage and patriotism inspired admirers of all ages. U.S. Congressman Frank Tejeda served his country and his state in war and peace with valor and distinction. The news of his passing saddens mc and everyone who loved this generous and strong man. Our thoughts and prayers arc with his family. Frank Tejeda was a patriot and a hero who believed deeply in this nation and fought to preserve its freedoms. He enlisted in the Mannc Corps at age 17, performing so well that he became the youngest Marine corporal and later the youngest staff sergeant In hattle, his bravery and leadership of fellow soldiers were recognized when he received the Silver Star and Bronze Star for heroism and gallantry under fire and the Purple Heart for wounds sustained while fighting The courage, integrity and patriotism that made Tejeda a leader of his fellow Mamies remained the hallmarks of his character throughout his life. He rose to the rank of major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and fought for national defense and veterans’ nghts and benefits throughout his distinguished public service career. When he and I entered the Texas Senate together in January 1987, he Today in History Judith Zaffirini already had served in the House of Representatives for IO years. In the House he waged a difficult fight to expose corruption in the Texas Supreme Court, and he authored the Texas Crime Victims Bill of Rights and the Texas Veterans Housing Assistance Program. Despite his many accomplishments, Rep Tejeda was a quiet man who never sought publicity He left an indelible mark on this state, mu only because he led the fight against high-court corruption, but also because his legislative victories benefited the poor, the elderly and the downtnxklen and focused on the needs of veterans and victims. As a legislator he willingly addressed complex issues such as improving railroad safety, preserving Texas historic sites, and providing access to water for constituents in Colonias. Additionally, he worked to improve health care delivery, creating the Texas trauma system. Because he loved children and was concerned about their future, he fought for higher funding for the schools in his district. He also helped fund many sports and other recreational activities Tor children in the community. As a result of the experiences of two adolescent constituents in Bexar County, in 1991 he uncovered the abuse of patients in Texas psychiatric hospitals, and we strategized to correct the problems. Together we laid the foundation for legislation that I sponsored that will keep these abuses from recurring In 1992 Sen. Tejeda was elected to the U.S. Congress without major party opposition, and he continued his efforts to work with communities throughout the district he represented We continued our cooperative efforts as we shared responsibilities for representing 12 counties, namely, Atascosa, Bexar, Comal, Duval, Frio, Guadalupe, Jim Hogg, LaSalle, McMullen, Starr, Wilson and Zapata. On Feb 3 the Texas Senate paid tnbute to Frank Tejeda by adopting Senate Concurrent Resolution 12 by myself and other Bexar County senators. The resolution honors his contributions, his dedication and ability to get things done, all of which “won him the respect and admiration of his constituents.” In Congress Frank Tejeda remained dedicated to the communities he served, whether he was working to secure drought relief for South Texas, casting the deciding vote to save the peanut program, or fighting to save Kelly Air Force Base. Frank often quoted his favorite poem, which was found in a sentry box in Gibraltar; “God and soldier all men adore In time of danger and no more When danger is passed and all things righted. God is forgotten and soldiers slight- • ed“ That poem inspired him to work tirelessly for veterans and for his community, his state and nation. His achievements, his courage, his commitment, and his patriotism will be an example for future generations. Frank Tejeda was a citizen/soldier who will not be forgotten. He will be remembered whenever we gather to honor great men. Although we will miss him deeply, we take comfort in knowing that, as Lf. Gov. Bob Bullock observed, “His legacy will serve as a source of inspiration for all Texans and Americans ” (Judith Zaffirini represents New Braunfels in the Texas Senate). The Associated Press Today is Sunday, Feb. 23, the 54th day of 1997. There are 311 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight In History: On Feb. 23, 1945, during World War ll, U.S. Marines on Iwo Jima captured Mount Sunbachi, where they raised the American flag. On this date: In 1685, composer George Frederic Handel was bom in Germany. In 1822, Boston was granted a charter to incorporate as a city. In 1836, the siege of the Alamo began in San Antonio. In 1847, 150 years ago, U.S. troops under Gen. Zachary Taylor defeated Mexican Gen. Santa Anna at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico. In 1848, the sixth president of the United States, John Quincy Adams, died of a stroke at age 80. In 1861, President-elect Lincoln arrived secretly in Washington to take office, an assassination plot hav ing been foiled in Baltimore In 1870, Mississippi was readmitted to the Union. In 1905, the Rotary Club was founded. In 1927, President Coolidge signed a bill creating the Federal Radio Commission, forerunner of the Federal Communications Commission In 1942, the first shelling of the U.S. mainland during World War II occurred as a Japanese submarine fired on an oil refinery in Ellwood, Calif. In 1954, the first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine began in Pittsburgh. In 1981, ah attempted coup began in Spain as 200 members of the Civil Guard invaded the Parliament. taking lawmakers hostage. The attempt collapsed 18 hours later. Ten years ago: Missouri congressman Richard A. Gephardt announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. Five years ago: The Winter Olympic Gaines ended in Albertville, France. In Moscow, thousands of pro-communist demonstrators, some shouting, “Down with the Russian government!” clashed with police. Paul Tsongas won a narrow victory over Jerry Brown in the Maine Democratic caucuses. One year ago: The Iraqi News Agency reported that Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel al-Majid and his brother Saddam Kamel al-Majid, a pair of defectors who were also the sons-in-law of Saddam Hussein, were killed by clan members after returning to their homeland. Dutch tourist Tosca Dtcpennk, 39, was killed by a gunman at a Miami service station. Today's Birthdays: Actor Peter Fonda is 58. Singer-musician Johnny Winter is 53. South African anti-apartheid activist Allan Boesak is 52. Actress Patricia Richardson (“Home Improvement”) is 46. Rock musician Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) it 45. Singer Howard Jones is 42. Actress Kristin Davis (“Melrose Place”) is 32. Tennis player Helena Suko-va is 32. Actor Marc Price (“Family Ties”) is 29. Thought for Today: “A good man can be stupid and tfill be good. But a bad man must have brains.” — Maxim Gorky, Russian writer (1868-1936). ;