In the USA, people end up on death row after being convicted of horrific crimes they did not commit. The lucky ones are exonerated while they are still alive — a macabre club that has grown to include 152 members since 1973.
In the USA, the land that boasts to have the best-of-the-best criminal justice system in the world, the number of death penalty wrongful convictions continue to soar. Why does this keep happening?
How many wrongly convicted people have been executed, or are awaiting to be? This may never be known. A corpse cannot talk!
Somewhere in the USA (Land of The Free) over the past 42 years, someone on death row has been exonerated, on average every three months. In the past year alone, nine people who had been sentenced to death were released — and in all but one case, prosecutors’ wrong doing played a key role.
According to one study, at least 4 percent of all death row prisoners in the USA have been wrongfully convicted. That is far more than often enough to conclude that the death penalty — besides being barbaric, cruel, degrading, immoral, inhuman, and ineffective at reducing crime — is so riddled with errors that no civilized nation should tolerate its use.
The latest person to be exonerated is Anthony Ray Hinton, who spent almost 30 years (half his life) on death row in Alabama. Hinton was convicted of two murders largely on faulty evidence that the bullets had come from his gun. His prosecutor at the time said he knew Hinton was guilty and 'evil' just by looking at him. And later prosecutors continued to insist on Hinton's guilt even when expert testimony clearly refuted the case against him.
People get wrongly convicted for many reasons, including bad lawyering, eyewitness errors, mistaken identifications, false or coerced confessions made under duress, use of 'snitches' as informants, ominous jury members and racial bias. But as advances in DNA analysis have accelerated the pace of exonerations, it has also become clear that police and prosecutorial misconduct is at the heart of an alarming number of these cases.
In the meantime, in the Land of The Free (aka USA) — the unknown unlucky wrongly convicted prisoners on death row remain locked up in closet-size cells. Many prisoners there slowly go mentally insane, some die of natural causes and others 'allegedly' commit suicide.
Read more ... http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/opinion/152-innocents-marked-for-death.html
Read more ... http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/node/4900