Readers write, Feb. 22

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

State pushes execution

though experts recant

Georgia officials – including the state’s attorney general and apparently its supreme court – want no more delays in executing a mentally disabled killer even though the experts who swore he was not mentally handicapped at the time of his trial say now they were wrong (“Courts put execution on hold,” News, Feb. 20).

These same experts are now “disingenuous” in recanting their testimony, the attorney general says, and Warren Lee Hill should be put to death. But it’s worth asking whether these same witnesses were disingenuous earlier, just so the state could uphold its only-in-the-nation statute that capital defendants must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that they are really, truly, seriously mentally disabled in order to be spared death for their crimes.

Once again, the eyes of the world are on Georgia’s insistence that revenge equals justice, no matter the cost of truth, and that death at the hands of the state is a matter of policy over moral principle.

MIKE KING, ATLANTA

PUBLIC HEALTH

Anti-bacterial product

repeatedly found safe

Comments in the article on the antibacterial chemical triclosan — claiming that it is unregulated and questioning its safety and effectiveness — are simply false (“Do anti-microbial soaps do more harm than good?” Living, Feb. 13).

Triclosan’s use in products like antibacterial soap is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The agency has in its hands a wealth of scientific data showing these products have a distinct germ-killing benefit. The Environmental Protection Agency completed a thorough review of triclosan’s safety in a 2008 regulatory decision that formally re-registered its use as a material preservative and has confirmed the wide margins of safety since then.

Over the years, studies have reaffirmed that the use of antibacterial products does not contribute to antibiotic resistance.

Triclosan has been one of the most researched and reviewed health care and consumer product ingredients. It is used safely and effectively as a part of common sense hygiene routines by millions of people — every single day.

PAUL DeLEO, AMERICAN CLEANING INSTITUTE

FEDERAL BUDGET

No need to look far

to find possible cuts

Regarding “Job Corps $100M short” (News, Feb. 17), there is a $100 million shortfall for the Job Corps program with an annual budget of $1.7 billion to serve 60,000 youths with free education and vocational training. That’s about $30,000 each. And Congress can’t figure where to cut!

GARY FURIN, ATLANTA

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

Let plaintiffs choose

manner of recourse

The debate over Georgia’s proposed Patients’ Compensation System, which resembles workers compensation, versus the existing medical malpractice approach is usually presented as an “either/or” choice (Opinion, Feb. 23). A middle ground may be possible.

Suppose the proposed PCS law offered (and even required) that those seeking compensation for medical malpractice choose which path is used, on a case-by-case basis. Any plaintiff who chooses traditional litigation would be barred from seeking compensation under PCS. Conversely, anyone choosing PCS would be barred from seeking compensation by traditional litigation. The choice would be made the instant a party files a claim under either system, and that choice would be irrevocable.

This approach allows us to see how each system compares against the other, in real life, without forcing one system or the other on malpractice victims.

BILL FOKES, BRASELTON

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