Why I Oppose The Death Penalty, Part MMMIX

Convictions gained through official misconduct; it’s not just for Manitowoc County Wisconsin any more.

Among those exonerated, 58 had been convicted of homicide, including five people who had been sentenced to death, it said. About three-quarters of the homicide exonerations included official misconduct, it said.

Another large group involved drug possession. Many times people held in custody falsely confessed to a crime to avoid a trial where they faced much longer sentences, the report said.

Texas was the top state for exonerations, propelled by conviction integrity units set up in its most populous counties. The state known for its tough approach on crime has also been a national leader in prosecutorial reform.

“For the integrity of the system, it is the right thing to do,” said Inger Chandler, head of the Harris County District Attorney’s Conviction Review Section, where there were 42 exonerations in 2015.

As long as prosecutors’ employment depends on politics, our “Justice” system will have a noxious layer of endemic injustice baked in.

5 thoughts on “Why I Oppose The Death Penalty, Part MMMIX

  1. I will point out that without politics, you get prosecutors run amok as in Wisconsin. The John Doe cases were the result of a prosecutor without any constraints on him as he was a Democrat in Milwaukee and could thus do no wrong going after Republicans.

  2. What JPA says. When prosecutors and police start to do hard time for manipulating the system, watch the wrongful imprisonment rates plunge. To help this along, you remove or amend the statute of limitations in such cases. If the guy has been in jail within the past ten years for the conviction, it’s fair game.

    It’s worth noting as well that with an average duration of wrongful incarceration of 14 years, these teams were only looking at the major crimes. I would guess that the number would grow if they started looking at other crimes. So (as I’ve noted before), this is not really about the death penalty per se, but about wrongful incarceration and abuse of the prosecutorial process in general.

  3. The only thing I’d add to sending prosecutors and law enforcement to prison for misconduct would be to make the minimum at least the same as the time served by the victim.

  4. Smith: that’s the Torah punishment. Deuteronomy 19:17-19. And yes, we’re saying that Mike Nifong, and a host of others, ought to have some long term boyfriends in the graybar hotel.

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