Overheard on CNN.com: Is death penalty a necessary evil?
"I cannot tell you that I am an innocent man. I am not asking you to feel sorry for me," said Mark Anthony Stroman.
July 21st, 2011
04:40 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Is death penalty a necessary evil?

Comment of the Day:

"This guy was not a 9/11 revenge killer. He was a sociopathic criminal with a long history of violence and robbery. I am not a proponent of the death penalty necessarily, but I do not weep for him."–dkgolfer71

Texas man executed for post-9/11 murder

The execution of convicted murderer Mark Anthony Stroman Wednesday night had many CNN.com readers arguing for the death penalty. Stroman was convicted of killing Vasudev Patel during a shooting rampage, purportedly in revenge for 9/11. Stroman told CNN in a recent interview, "I am a human being and made a terrible mistake out of love, grief and anger, and believe me, I am paying for it every single minute of the day."

Maccaman said, "While I do not 'like' the death penalty, it is a necessary evil. There are evil people in this world who simply need to face the ultimate punishment for heinous crime. Forgiveness is one thing I believe in, but accountability is just as important. People die accidentally every day in horrible ways. Why is putting a killer to death so shocking in this world where death is a fact of life?"

TangataNY said, "Ironic. The 9/11 terrorists, Stroman, and the U.S. Supreme Court have something in common: they all believe that you can make the world a better place by killing people."

wilbert3 said, "He should have been executed, and I am white, so it is not about discrimination. I believe anyone who intentionally kills someone else should be put to death. As a juror, I would have to believe the person did it and intended to do it beyond a reasonable doubt. Once all people know what will happen to them and it will be severe, they just might think ahead regarding their actions."

Others expressed concern over mistakes made during the judicial process. sarge106 said, "I am NOT liberal, or democrat, but there are those 139 men on death row that have been freed because of DNA testing: 139 of the wrong guys on their way to the gallows. It does cause me to wonder, and I am a bloodthirsty barbarian." fistv said, "I agree, more than 200 have been found innocent. However, this animal did what he did without a shadow of a doubt; the sad part was it took so darn long to juice the monster."

Regardless of their stance on the death penalty, CNN.com readers had warm words for Rais Bhuiyan. Blinded in one eye during the rampage, he later campaigned to save Stroman's life. HolyFrijoles said, "For Bhuiyan to forgive and then go on to pursue a stay of execution is remarkable, something beautiful in a very ugly story."

Minnesota school district investigated after civil rights complaint

Federal authorities are looking into "allegations of harassment and discrimination in the Anoka-Hennepin School District based on sex," according to a district memo provided exclusively to CNN. The federal investigation comes after a string of seven student suicides in less than two years. Parents and friends say four of those students were either gay, perceived to be gay or questioning their sexuality, and they say, at least two of them were bullied because of their sexuality.

JeepersIII said, "You wonder where Michele Bachmann comes from. This is in her district. Now do you understand?"

MominMN423 said, "My 11-year-old goes to Anoka-Hennepin School District and has been bullied. There were 7 suicides linked to being bullied in school. The issue is that they 'happen' to be gay or perceived gay. The real problem is that kids get bullied on the playground or on the bus or between classes and there is no supervision in those places. It doesn't matter what they are bullied about. But the school district should be responsible for teaching about GLTB in health education classes. As a mom of a new middle schooler, I hope that this article and federal probe brings to light deficiencies in the school system."

Readers struggled to understand what school policy meant by "neutrality." CCD0208 said, "If you actually watch the video you learn that the policy does not prohibit teachers from stopping bullying of gay students and allows them to talk about the issue."

oldguy12 said, "The anti-harassment\bullying policy *requires* teachers and staff to intervene if they see or learn of harassment or bullying regardless of the basis, including harassment based on sexual orientation. The problem isn't the neutrality policy, it maybe\is enforcing the anti-harassment policy."

dirtybird argued that the First Amendment gives a Christian student "absolute right to walk into his public school and publicly state that homosexuality is an abomination and that homosexuals are hell-bound deviants who deserve everlasting torment."

MOCaseA replied "Actually, the Constitution gives you the right to choose and practice your choice of religion, but it does not allow hate-mongering and verbal assault of another individual, nor allow anyone to create a hostile environment, especially one that is operated by state and federal government, for anyone else because of personal religion. "

crackiswhack agreed, "Sorry boss, there's a difference between having an opinion and harassing people because of it. You say 'I don't believe homosexuality is right.'– that's fine. But that's different from shouting names at someone and targeting them for daily harassment. I'm very sorry if you don't understand the difference. Oh, and love thy neighbor. I think Jesus said that."

Please don't eat in the bathroom

Eatocracy editor Kat Kinsman asks, "Can't we as a society set the bar higher than eating in the can?" Describing a coworker spotted eating cereal in a bathroom stall and a subway rider tucking into fried chicken yards away from a "rat ballet," she asks readers, "Does it gross you out to see people eat in unsanitary public places?"

Mare responded, "I leave my coffee mug outside on the floor if I'm making a pit stop on the way to get coffee. It's just gross." But her comment caused an outcry over whether that was more sanitary than bringing the cup into the bathroom. Rachel M said, "The floor just outside a bathroom is a monumentally dirtier place than a raised sink inside that bathroom. Hygiene fail."

Belingo said, "God, you people have issues. Personally, I wouldn't take my coffee mug on the way to the toilet, but bacteria are everywhere, and that's good, that's how our immune system is kept active."

Others thought even reading in the bathroom was disgusting. Puddle of Evil said, "The evil parental unit uses her bathroom as a library. I've stopped lending her books for this reason."

Queen of Everything said, "I see people on their way to a meeting stop by the bathroom and they often take their notepad or papers in with them. It makes my skin crawl every time I see it. I don't even want to think about where they are putting those papers while they are doing their business."

Chris said, "Oh, come on, stop being such germophobes. Just because you take something in the bathroom with you doesn't mean it comes out encrusted in feces and dried urine. What do you think these people are doing, wiping themselves with their notepads?"

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Tell them, Carol.
    I'm with you.

    July 21, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Anonymous

    If you commit murder and are proven guilty, then you need to accept your fate and die if given the death penalty. Why should my tax dollars continue to support murderers on death row? Get rid of the whole lot already.

    July 21, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • OP

      because the court system and jury system has proven infallible with no corruption????

      July 21, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rachel

      But wait–it costs more to put someone to death than to imprison them for life.

      July 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • PensacolaPete

      Anonymous, don't you know that it costs about 10 times as much to execute a person than to keep her/him in prison for the rest of her/his life?

      July 21, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Paul

    Execution, A sign of primitive behavior.

    July 21, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kevin

    I support the death penalty but I would never want to watch someone die, that's ghoulish. Just tell me they wont be able to kill again. Not wanting to see someone die in front of me I hope is what seperates me from them emotionally.

    July 21, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. shawnbelknap

    yea, what if it was your family member being put to death, how would you feel then?

    July 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. shawnbelknap

    of course murder is bad no matter how its done, but what makes the system any better? still murder!!!

    July 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Justice for all

    I feel sorry for both who died before and after, but this country is great because we have rules and regulations in place and keeping crime and hatred under control countries need law and and order but not in the books but in real practice so that who ever has mean thoughts they need to think thousand times to do any harm ifthey want to live in a civilized world. There are several countries they simply don't have lawand order and there are some who does have it in books but never happens in action. In America we have such beauty there is law and order and there is honest justice system except some exceptions those can be fixed easily.Thank God there is a land in this world who has fairness.

    July 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CorperateKills

    I love how the world believes that, you should take a life of someone who took a life of another.
    What does that solve? Absolutely nothing. We shouldn't be mourning death, by celebrating the death of another.

    July 21, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Breeze

    So when will we execute people like doctors, lawyers, the rich, bankers and those on Wall Street, those of whom have caused death, theft and various other crimes?

    July 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Breeze

    Oh and let's not politicians!

    July 21, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Richard

    Necessary evil? You mean like government? We need to go back to the linch mob thing. There is no justice in our courts, and to give them the power of life and death is dumb.How many times has the prez got the chair? NONE. Why, becouse thay are above the law. A linch mob works better and it's over now. And after it's done you don't talk abought it because YOU just did a evil thing.

    July 21, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tom

    Boil it down, this man was nothing more than a criminal who murdered someone and used the tragic events of September 11 as some form of cover or justification. WOW.... George W Bush did EXACTLY the same thing!!!!

    July 21, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dave

    Hey Dirtybird this is for you. Michele Bachmann and her followers are every bit as radical as the Taliban, they should all move to Afganastan and join up so they can spew their hate and violence with their kind and possibly even kill a few people who dont conform to the Conservitive Christian way, I have to say Sarah Palin is cut from the same cloth she and her vile mouth caused people to be murded and criticaly injured in Arizona. And one more thing the conservitive right hiding behind God are moving ever closer to their dream of conquest of the low and middle class, they look at us like we are animals put on earth to serve them. There motive is for the rich to pay no taxes and to put the burden on the rest of us. Oue politicans are in the same catigory they dont care about the people in this country all they care about is the rich, they want to cut our medicare and social security and make the people pay more and more for medical care why are they not under social security and medicare? Thats an easy one, becaued they votes themselves a better plan that the public is not included in. In my opinion all conservitive Christian Republicans are selfish, rasist, liars that hide their crimes behind God. As well everyone has forgotten about George Bush a Conservitive Christian republican that cheated his way into winning the election in 2000 with the help from his brother Jeb. When Bush came into office we had a balanced budget when he left our country was in the worst shape it was ever in. Now the conservitive republicans including the tea party idiots can do nothing but critisize Obama after he inherited the Bush mess and it is not corrected yet. Michele Bachmann haqs even publicly stated that slvery was a nessesary thing to so this country could grow, I would like to make her and her family slaves for a year or two to see if she might change her tune.
    I consider my self Christian by birth and I do beleve in GOD and Jesus Christ and think if they are really watching us the conservitive right is due for the punishment that they think so many others need, what happened to live and let live. The conservitive right has sold their souls to big oil,big medicne, and big money and one day they will pay the price for what they have done to the people in this country and around the world.

    July 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TheOneWhoKnows

    Yes. Death Penalty should exist. It is better to execute a person who you know is absolutely guilty of 1st degree murder than pay for their food and shelter for a lifetime.

    July 21, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • aww naww

      Soo you'd rather pay more to kill someone than less to keep them in a cage like an animal? I hope your job doesn't involve math or logic.

      July 21, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dave

    For Richard, Why don't you go join the taliban sounds like you belong. The Taliban will let you do all the killing you want in the name of GOD.

    July 21, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
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