Thirteen homicides in Pine Bluff in less than six months is enough to make one sick at the stomach. This is unacceptable for any community. For those killers who show no mercy, there should be no mercy. Those who commit violent acts should receive the strongest possible penalty, not just a slap on the hand. The ICVR Respect for Life Initiative has concluded that approximately 99 percent of all murders have been blacks killing blacks. Arkansas judges who hand out six-, eight-, and ten-year sentences for homicides should cease this practice and impose stronger penalties. As a pastor, I believe that the “life for life” principle can be a greater deterrent for potential criminals and should be mandatory. I encourage our Arkansas legislators to not look the other way and to develop such life-for-life legislation. Life without parole or execution by lethal injection for all convicted of murder would be the bottom line, no exceptions. It is time for something to be done to curb the senseless murders occurring at epidemic proportions, mainly within the black community. As a pastor, I intend to contact members of the Arkansas House and Senate to encourage them to do something to help with the out-of-control killings in our state.
Rev. Jesse Turner
Interested Citizens for Voter Registration, Inc.