Chris Detrick
Benjamin Rettig listens during his sentencing at the 4th District Court in American Fork Tuesday December 13, 2011. Rettig was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for his involvement in the Nov. 16, 2009 killing of retired BYU professor Kay Mortensen.

Capital punishment is administered unfairly. Emotionally, most of us a clamor for it. We apparently feel good when a murderer meets his/her proper demise. But does anyone ever look at it logically? In theory we like to believe that it prevents or deters murders. Where is the proof for that? On the other hand, how many of us really care when an innocent person is released after a decade or two in prison?

What if two murderers, equally guilty, are treated differently — one is executed while the other gets 25 to life? Let's compare the fate of Benjamin Rettig to that of William Andrews. Rettig, while participating in a home-invasion robbery, stands by while his partner slits a victim's throat. Andrews, a partner in a robbery-murder in Ogden's HiFi Shop, stood by while his partner killed several people.

Why did Andrews have to spend long years on death row, finally getting executed, while, now, Rettig gets prison — likely most of the time in a medium security section — possibly for life?

Prosecutors found it necessary to spare Rettig's life because they need him to testify against his friend. But in the HiFi case, two of the victims survived. One of them was an excellent witness. Andrews' testimony was not necessary, therefore, he needed to die for his partner's murders. Is "justice" really equal?

Wayne Overson

Santaquin