Follow us:

Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 17, 2013 at 7:57 AM

Inmate sentenced to death after murdering guard

Does the death penalty attract inmates?

Lisa Hamm, center, sister of slain Monroe corrections officer Jayme Biendl, reacts after a Snohomish County jury decided to recommend the death penalty for Biendl's killer, Byron Scherf. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Lisa Hamm, center, sister of slain Monroe corrections officer Jayme Biendl, reacts after a Snohomish County jury decided to recommend the death penalty for Biendl’s killer, Byron Scherf. (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

I was in the Monroe prison when Byron Scherf murdered Jayme Biendl. I was released six months later, having served 30 years [“State prison inmate sentenced to death in murder of guard,” NWThursday, May 16].Bryon Scherf was already serving a life sentence. He didn’t want to spend the rest of his life behind bars. He knew he would never get out.I have heard many debates about whether the death penalty acts as a deterrent to crime. Never have I heard it debated that the death penalty, in some instances, may actually be an attractant to those tortured souls who are tired of living and too weak or cowardly to take their own lives.

I believe that is what happened in this case. The cruelest, most vengeful fate to bestow on Scherf would be to force him to live out the rest of his miserable life behind bars. I believe he murdered Jayme Biendl because he wanted the death penalty.

Her death is a terrible tragedy. I have often wondered if there had been something I might have done that day to prevent it.

And today I am left to wonder if Scherf would have strangled her if Washington state didn’t offer the death penalty.

Dan Pens, Seattle

 

Comments | More in Death penalty | Topics: death penalty, murder

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►