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Editor:

Trump was wrong then and he's wrong now that reinstating the death penalty will have an effect on crime. As my philosophy professor said back in 1967, it's not the severity of punishment which prevents crime, it's the surety. Every criminal knows that if he/she has little chance of getting caught in the first place and a chance of not being convicted anyway, and an even greater chance of plea-bargaining to a lesser crime, then the criminal act will go ahead and be committed. If you were virtually certain to be apprehended, regardless of the severity of any punishment, odds are you wouldn't commit the crime in the first place.

BOB WATKINS, Buffalo

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