December 9, 2004
Some capital case buzz
With closing arguments in the penalty phase of Scott Peterson's trial being CNN.com's lead story this afternoon, it seems like a good time to span the internet for various important death penalty stories. And there are lots of stories to note:
- Reinforcing serious concerns about Texas capital (in)justice (detailed here and here), this disconcerting Chicago Tribune article suggests that Texas earlier this year might have possibly executed an innocent man. The blogshpere, as evidenced by posts from TalkLeft and Buckeye Law Guy, is already buzzing about the article.
- At the other extreme, this New Jersey Star Ledger article details that acting NJ Gov. Richard Codey has endorsed a moratorium on executions pending a proposed state study of the death penalty. That announcement has already garnered support in this Philadelphia Inquirer editorial.
- The Death Penalty Information Center has this interesting post about a new book entitled "The Biblical Truth About America's Death Penalty" which apparently argues that "People of biblical faith must abolish the American death penalty, and we must do so in our time. Moratorium is a way of stopping the practice while others of biblical faith become educated to the biblical truth, a truth that demands nothing less than abolition."
December 9, 2004 at 05:12 PM | Permalink
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The Chicago Trib. article made me sick to my stomach. Is this quest for a conviction at any cost typical?
It makes me wonder if some prosecutors are evil incarnate, or just amoral people who feed an evil machine in exchange for a paycheck and political clout.
Posted by: bob | Dec 9, 2004 6:01:26 PM
I agree this is horribly disconcerting and
indicates we need to carefully consider all
aspects of the death penalty.
However, at the same time I'm not convinced
anything necessarily went wrong here. Other
articles have highlight facts and
evidence that supported his conviction
beyond just the fire expert. (How about
neighbors seeing him come out of the house
before any flames, then seeing flames, then
saying oh my gosh your children, when
instead he goes to move his car, and then
is more concerned w/ his burnt record
player,and evidence of past abuse of his
wife/children, and expert testimony that he
fits the profile of a sociopath).
I guess it just seems to me that this
highlights the need to make sure that
procedures are in place to double check
sentences, especially death penalty
sentences, when there's new evidence of
this potential magnitude. But at the
same time it also seems to me that w/
all of the opportunities for appeal, and
w/ all of the other evidence against him,
maybe we should also be careful before we
reach any conclusive opinions about the
potential injustice of the system in
this particular case.
I think I'd need to review the trial
transcript before I could feel comfortable
thinking there was a problem here b/c of
all the conflicting accounts of the facts
in the various news articles but a lot of
people already have and they all sustained
the verdict which again makes me at least
a little more comfortable w/ the process.
Posted by: Anonymous Student | Dec 9, 2004 10:46:38 PM