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Don’t Send Me No More Letters No – Mort Would Sooner Lie About the Way the Death Penalty Works Than Concede a Mistake

In this feature I spotlight responses that amuse me for whatever reason by Mort Weisinger to letters fans wrote in to the Superman family of titles back in the 1950s and 1960s. Here is an archive of past installments.

In this latest installment, we examine an example of Mort Weisinger’s unwillingness to concede even a simple mix-up…

In 1963′s Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #73, a reader wrote in to take issue with how Metropolis was depicted as having no death penalty in one issue and having the death penalty in another issue.

Rather than simple A. admitting to the mix-up or
B. Just not answering the letter period,

Mort Weisinger instead just went with

C. Make stuff up.

It seems clear how much Mort sells stuff just based on how confident he is in his answers, ya know?

7 Comments

He sold me. Now I know not to kill people once I end up in prison.

That…that actually makes a lot of sense. I’m convinced.

Mort Weisinger could be grouchy, but he was a genius, and this kind of thing confirms it. He might not have responded, but instead, chose to put a context for both stories have logic.

Alpha Centurian

August 31, 2013 at 11:22 am

Wow. I guess fanboys haven’t changed since then. Instead of enjoying comics they still nitpick over minor things just to have an intellectual pissing contest over things that don’t matter. No wonder Weisinger was a jerk. He had to constantly read letters from nerds who weren’t capable of enjoying a simple comic book.

or D. He was a federal prisoner.

I guess fanboys haven’t changed since then. Instead of enjoying comics they still nitpick over minor things just to have an intellectual pissing contest over things that don’t matter.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that knowing how the death penalty actually works might be slightly more important than preserving the logical consistency of a couple of 1960s Superman stories.

Kabe’s correct, but Mort’s statement isn’t entirely without precedent, either.

Killing any law enforcement officer (even state prison guards) became a federal capital crime in the last couple decades (can’t remember if before or after 9/11), and those sweeping federal laws were based on EXISTING earlier laws at the state level (as well as federal ones for a few specific government employee types) to that effect.

However, I’m unaware how many of those “killing law enforcement/jailer” laws were ones that were enacted before the moratorium on the death penalty (and commutation of existing Death Penalty sentences), and how many came about after executions resumed.

So Mort’s excuse, while 99% likely pulled out of his arse, may have accidentally reflected the law in some states or in certain federal cases.

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