More Jackson County Opinions...

May 01, 2002

By: Rochelle Beckstine
The Jackson Herald
May 01, 2002

Death penalty only makes murderers out of us all
Sitting here, considering how to begin this column, I had a revelation. I’ve been meaning to write about the death penalty and how it is morally and religiously wrong. And I will, but first I was thinking about growing up the oldest of three children. I was bossy and I liked to change the rules to suit me, which was often met with insubordination by my minions. I would dig in my heels — after all, my way was the only way. If the argument escalated into hitting and scratching, I always came out on top. It was the way it was done. An eye for an eye.
Many years and a great deal of maturity later and I regret every argument. There was never any need for violence. Nothing was worth hurting one another. Two wrongs don’t make a right, my mother would say as she punished both the one who hit first and the one who hit last. The bigger person would have walked away.
Now as an adult, I am going to borrow the infamous “Two wrongs” speech for my death penalty column.
I don’t believe anyone, save God, has the right to kill another human being. It’s just that simple.
If someone kills another in any circumstance, they have committed a cardinal sin.
I know many people feel that murderers should pay for their crimes with their lives. They’ve lost family members because of another person’s choice to kill and they want retribution. I would urge everyone to choose life over death. Forgiveness over hate.
More Americans died on September 11th than on any other day in United States history and one man stands accountable for this atrocity in our justice system. He’s certainly not the only man responsible, but as yet he is the only being held accountable. There is so much hate directed toward this one man that many fear he will be killed by a vigilante before his trial is over. He is protected around the clock. If a vigilante did kill him, I’m sure many would cheer his death and applaud the vigilante, but the state would still try the vigilante for murder. A murder the state may have carried out if the man were left in the justice system. I know why the state is permitted to kill and its citizens are not. It seems logical that a jury of 12 randomly chosen men and women could weigh the evidence and decide whether a man should live or die. Or does it? Shouldn’t God be the only one who decides whether a man should live or die? Rejecting the death penalty doesn’t make murder less of a crime, but another death won’t bring anyone back, it will only make more people guilty of murder.
Jesus himself said, “You have heard that it is said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well” [Matthew 6:38-39].
The proper punishment for murder should be life in prison with no possibility for parole. Criminals should be made to work in prison. Get rid of the televisions and recess. They can paint cars, do laundry, sew clothes. They could make all those cheap little doo-dads the United States gets from China and Hong Kong. There are plenty of jobs that could be performed by the unskilled and imprisoned worker. Then perhaps prisoners could be earning their keep. It wouldn’t be seen as life in prison and the thousands of dollars taxpayers will have to pay to keep the prisoner in jail, instead it would be life in prison and the state will garnish all of your wages.
As jury members, we can reject state-sanctioned murder. As the voting population, we can ask that prison workers become the norm.
Rochelle Beckstine is a columnist for MainStreet Newspapers.

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By: Virgil Adams
The Jackson Herald
May 01, 2002

From small time to big time
Working on the series about Gov. Talmadge and his support of the 4-H, I remembered what a young man from Jefferson did for the youth organization—and how the experience influenced his life and career. This is his story.
It is a long way from a high school monthly, a college daily and a 4-H weekly to one of the South’s largest and best newspapers. Nevertheless, these small and seemingly insignificant publications started the young man on a 41-year journalism journey to the big time.
Carrol Dadisman would agree with me that the Jefferson Hi Times, UGA’s Red & Black and the 4-H Club’s Eagle were small. But he would not agree that they were insignificant. Not in his life, anyway.
Carrol was born in Jefferson 67 years ago, the son of Howard and Mary Lou Dadisman. By the time he got to high school, he was 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weighed 200 pounds. But he didn’t play basketball or football. He was too busy writing for the school paper.
The young man’s ambition was to be a great sportswriter. So when he graduated from Jefferson High, it was just natural that he’d enroll in the School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. He was on the staff of The Red & Black from the start, and in 1954 he was the editor.
I remember calling Carrol in Tallahassee, Fla. in the fall of 1981 to congratulate him on a recent promotion. We talked about the good ol’ days at Rock Eagle in the 1950s. He said the 4-H Eagle was his first editorship. Then he recalled The Red & Black. It was first. But The Eagle, after 26 years, was still vivid in his memory. I talked to Carrol about a month ago, and The Eagle, after 47 years, is still vivid in his memory.
The Eagle was a 4-H newspaper published just ten weeks in the summer of 1955. The few copies that are still around are collectors’ items. The little paper told the story of Rock Eagle and what went on there the year the 4-H Center opened.
Carrol was more than the editor. He was also reporter, photographer, make-up man, publisher and delivery boy.
And his schedule was a rat race. He spent Sunday nights with his mother in Jefferson. He got up early enough Monday mornings to get to Rock Eagle—65 miles away—in time for breakfast. He stayed at Rock Eagle Monday through Wednesday taking pictures and writing stories about the campers.
Wednesday night he rushed his copy and photos to the McGregor Printing Co. in Athens. He spent all day Thursday editing, writing headlines, preparing captions, laying out the paper, and getting it all printed. Then he rushed back to Rock Eagle in time to pass out copies at dinner Thursday night.
Carrol drove an old Chevrolet automobile, and they say he set some speed records between Athens and Rock Eagle that stand ‘til this day.
“Working on The Eagle was a great way for me to start,” he told me. “It was a very valuable experience in that I had to do it all myself. It’s true, The Red & Black was my first editorship, but on The Red & Black I had a lot of help.”
Someone special to Carrol was a 4-H camp counselor in 1955—but not at Rock Eagle. Carrol met Mildred Sparks, Banks County, in one of Dean Drewry’s journalism classes. When they learned that he would be working at Rock Eagle, they tried to get Mildred transferred from Camp Wahsega, near Dahlonega, to the 4-H Center near Eatonton. Failing that, Carrol kept the road hot between Jefferson and Dahlonega on weekends.
Carrol married Mildred in 1956. That was an important year in his life for two other reasons. It was the year he graduated from the University of Georgia, and it marked the beginning of his career with commercial newspapers.
He started out in Augusta as a reporter on The Chronicle. Before he left he had been assistant city editor, editorial writer and managing editor.
He became editor of The Marietta Daily Journal in 1966, and then—six years later—joined the Knight newspaper chain as managing editor of The Macon News. In 1974 he became executive editor of The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
Carrol moved from Columbus to Tallahassee where he was general manager of The Democrat. It was a position that might possibly lead to publisher someday. In 1981 the Knight-Ridder chain owned 33 daily newspapers all over the country, and while Carrol had no guarantee he would ever publish one of them, he was headed in that direction.
In 25 years the young man from Jefferson went from small time to big time. He was named publisher of The Tallahassee Democrat in 1981 and he held the position for 16 years.
Carrol retired in 1997 after 41 years in the newspaper business. but his retirement did not end his involvement in journalism. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of UGA’s Red & Black, which he edited as a student in 1954. And since his retirement five years ago, he has made five trips to Russia to consult with newspaper officials in that country.
Carrol and Mildred still live in Tallahassee where they play a little tennis and are involved in cultural, community and civic activities. And they keep up with their two children who are following in their dad’s journalism footsteps. David is vice president of The Washington Post. Daughter Ellen also lives in Washington and is in charge of public and government relations for the Council on Foundations.
Virgil Adams is former owner and editor of The Jackson Herald.
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