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November 9, 2010

New poll showing US support for death penalty now at 83%

This new UPI story reports the highlights of a notable new poll on US opinions about the death penalty:

While 83 percent in the United States support the death penalty for murder, 81 percent say innocent people likely have been executed, a poll indicated Tuesday.

Angus Reid Public Opinion reported the public is split on whether the threat of execution is a deterrent, with 39 percent agreeing and 35 percent saying no. Only 6 percent believe no innocent person has been put to death.

There were some regional and partisan differences with southerners slightly less likely to support the death penalty than others and independents less likely than either Democrats or Republicans.

More of the poll specifics are available via this report from the folks at Angus Reid Public Opinion.

November 9, 2010 at 03:48 PM | Permalink

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http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/comprehensive-death-penalty-poll-challenges-the-conventional-wisdom-about-support-for-capital-punishment-among-voters-106973048.html

Posted by: claudio giusti, italia | Nov 9, 2010 4:02:21 PM

1. Claudio's poll is what's known in the business as a "push poll." The DPIC of course commissioned and paid for it. Even with all that, however, its press release does not even PURPORT to say that a majority of Americans oppose the DP. Indeed, the actual poll numbers are conspicuously withheld until next week.

My, my.

And there's this: Almost all readers here know that the DPIC is a leading, maybe THE leading, abolitionist organization. But you'd never guess it from this astonishingly dishonest statement they make about themselves at the end of their press release:

"Death Penalty Information Center is a non-profit organization serving the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment. DPIC was founded in 1990 and prepares in-depth reports, issues press releases, conducts briefings for the media, and serves as a resource to those working on this issue. DPIC is widely quoted and consulted by all those concerned with the death penalty."

For lying-via-omission, this is as deceptive a statement as you'll ever see. Would it really hurt them so much to tell us what they're really about?

Any of you abolitionists want to defend the "honesty" of this statement?

2. On the other hand, I have my doubts about the Angus Reid poll. It might conceivably have been influenced by the horrible (to some of us, anyway) Petit rape/torture/murder case, which would drive support for the DP up in the short run.

Long term, support for the DP is extremely high, but not at 83%. Gallup recently did his annual question on the DP, and found support at roughly 2/3, where it has been for almost all of the last decade. See http://www.gallup.com/poll/144284/Support-Death-Penalty-Cases-Murder.aspx.

One thing that is consistent between the Angus Reid poll and the Gallup poll is that majorities believe that an innocent person has been executed, and even bigger majorities support the death penalty notwithstanding.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 9, 2010 4:31:41 PM

I am afraid there are MANY leading abolitionist organizations and they are winning.

Posted by: claudio giusti, italia | Nov 9, 2010 4:39:38 PM

@Claudio Giusti
How are they winning? For the most part they seem to be irrelevant.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Nov 9, 2010 9:14:56 PM

"One thing that is consistent between the Angus Reid poll and the Gallup poll is that [overwhelming] majorities believe that an innocent person has been executed, and even bigger majorities support the death penalty notwithstanding." (INSERTION BY ANON2)

Which conclusively proves:

[choose one)

1. the adage "Hang them first then try them" is correct.

2. the adage "Better to execute ten innocent man than let one guilty person go free" is correct.

3. The adage "Better safe than sorry" is correct.

4. None of the above

Posted by: anon2 | Nov 9, 2010 9:30:46 PM

anon2 --

What it proves is that the public buys (mistakenly in my view) the premise of the abolitionists' innocence argument, but rejects its conclusion. The most likely reason that it rejects the conclusion is that it knows full well that there are hundreds of cases where there is no sane doubt of guilt, and the crime is so ghastly that a term of imprisonment, no matter what its length, is inadequate.

Perhaps the best recent example of this is the Petit case in Connecticut, which concluded just this week.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 9, 2010 11:28:28 PM

I fully agree that the death penaly is appropriate for the killers in that case and in some others. The problem is that the death penaly is imposed in cases where it is simply not warranted. The 200 or so people freed by DNA results are not a figment of the public's imagination. Nor are the numberless cases of prosecutorial miconduct that continue to taint convictions and cause the public to question the integrity of the government. After all these are the same folks (or their ilk) who justified War in Vietnam (and the 55,000 dead on the Wall, and the hundreds of thousands of dead Vietnamese) becauseof the so-called Gulf of Tonkin incident; and the same folks who justiifed the invasion of Iraq (and countless dead Americans and Iraqis)and the destruction of the country because of the so-called WMD's which never existed.

Posted by: anon2 | Nov 10, 2010 1:30:57 AM

I wonder if the fraction would be bigger if the question involved the putting to death of the entire lawyer hierarchy of the United States for its insurrection against the Constitution and collaboration with foreign terrorists.

Claudio believes in the death penalty only for investigative judges at the hand of the Mafia, allowed to run rampant over Italy. Why? These Mafia criminals generate lots of government jobs for rent seeking blood suckers. No one may touch one, without facing criminal charges. They have the total protection of the left wing.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Nov 10, 2010 2:54:23 AM

anon2 --

"I fully agree that the death penaly is appropriate for the killers in that case and in some others."

Then it should be carried out.

That the government is at times incompetent and/or corrupt is a reason to be very cautious, not a reason to be paralyzed in clear-cut cases.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Nov 10, 2010 9:36:50 AM

How many were hanged for the My Lai massacre ?????

Posted by: claudio giusti, italia | Nov 10, 2010 10:05:00 AM

The actual question on innocence in the Angus Reid poll was, "All things considered, do you believe innocent people have been executed in the United States?"

With no time limit on the question, the answer is quite obviously "yes"? Whether it has happened in the post-Furman era is a different question.

@anon2: "The 200 or so people freed by DNA results are not a figment of the public's imagination."

If you mean 200 people out of all the criminal cases in the United States, of which capital cases are a tiny fraction, the number has little relevance. If you mean that 200 people have been freed from death row on DNA evidence, that is very much a figment of your imagination.

@claudio: I am very glad to learn that Italy is such a paradise that you have no problems in your own country worth your time to work on, leaving you free to meddle in the domestic policy choices of other countries.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Nov 10, 2010 12:27:28 PM

Dear Mr Kent Scheidegge
1 That was the same thing the communists say to me when I spent my free time for Soviet Dissidents. By the way the dissident were agaist the death penalty
2 The DNA case are NOT a little fraction. Actually they are a 5% of the death penalty errors

Posted by: claudio giusti, italia | Nov 10, 2010 12:56:15 PM

Sorry. 5% of the DP sentences are errors.

Posted by: claudio giusti, italia | Nov 10, 2010 1:00:01 PM

This may be why Mr. Kent did not provide a link to the poll itself (pdf)

"Angus Reid Public Opinion polls are conducted using the Angus Reid Forum (www.angusreidforum.com), Springboard America (www.springboardamerica.com) and Springboard UK (www.springboarduk.com) online panels, which are carefully recruited to ensure representation across all demographic and psychographic segments of these populations. Panel members pass through rigorous screening and a double opt-in process ensuring highly motivated and responsive members."

For some interesting details on a poll of the poller, see Survey Police. They get paid.

Posted by: George | Nov 10, 2010 1:05:40 PM

Go back and read the original post, George. There is no reason for a commenter to link to material that the post has already linked.

Sheesh.

Claudio, there is no comparison between the atrocities committed by the Soviet Union against people who merely disagreed with the government and the United States's domestic policy choice to use capital punishment on people who commit murder. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Italy and the United States are both parties, permits capital punishment on certain conditions, all of which the United States complies with. Hence, this is a domestic policy choice and not a proper matter for other countries to be interfering with.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Nov 10, 2010 1:27:48 PM

Kent,

anon2 said that there were 200 cases of persons freed from death row by DNA. You resonded that that figure was a figment of his imagination. Apparently you are right and anon2 was wrong. According to Amnesty International, the figure is only about 130. So he was off by 70. But even with that figure, anon2's argument still has much force and goes along way to explain the overwhelming response of the public that innocent people have been executed. I reproduce part of the page from the Amnesty website here:

"Death Penalty and Innocence
Since 1973, over 130 people have been released from death rows throughout the country due to evidence of their wrongful convictions. In 2003 alone, 10 wrongfully convicted defendants were released from death row.

"I cannot support a system which, in its administration, has proven so fraught with error and has come so close to the ultimate nightmare, the state's taking of innocent life... Until I can be sure that everyone sentenced to death in Illinois is truly guilty, until I can be sure with moral certainty that no innocent man or woman is facing a lethal injection, no one will meet that fate."

--Governor George Ryan of Illinois, January 2000, in declaring a moratorium on executions in his state, after the 13th Illinois death row inmate had been released from prison due to wrongful conviction. In the same time period, 12 others had been executed. (photo © AFP)

Examples of wrongful convictions

Arizona: Ray Krone, released in 2002
•Spent 10 years in prison in Arizona, including time on death row, for a murder he did not commit. He was the 100th person to be released from death row since 1973. DNA testing proved his innocence.

Illinois: Madison Hobley, Aaron Patterson, Stanley Howard and LeRoy Orange, pardoned in 2003
•Sent to death row on the basis of "confessions" extracted through the use of torture by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and other Area 2 police officers in Chicago. They were pardoned by outgoing Governor George Ryan, who also commuted the remaining 167 death sentences in Illinois to life imprisonment.

North Carolina: Jonathon Hoffman, exonerated in 2007
•Convicted and sentenced to death for the 1995 murder of a jewelry store owner. During Hoffman's first trial, the state's key witness, Johnell Porter, made undisclosed deals with the prosecutors for testifying against his cousin. Porter has since recanted his testimony, stating that he lied in order to get back at his cousin for stealing money from him.


Factors leading to wrongful convictions include:
•Inadequate legal representation
•Police and prosecutorial misconduct
•Perjured testimony and mistaken eyewitness testimony
•Racial prejudice
•Jailhouse "snitch" testimony
•Suppression and/or misinterpretation of mitigating evidence
•Community/political pressure to solve a case

© 2010 Amnesty International USA
5 Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10001 | 212.807.8400"

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Nov 10, 2010 1:40:41 PM

Read it again, Michael. Amnesty does *not* claim all or even a large portion of the 130 are DNA cases. Anon2 was not off by a mere 70. He was off by much more than that.

The notorious "innocence list," BTW, is debunked in Justice Scalia's concurring opinion in Kansas v. Marsh.

You don't have to be innocent to get on the innocence list. Timothy Hennis was on it. However, due to his military connection he was able to be reprosecuted after new evidence conclusively proved he is guilty of the murder for which he was "exonerated."

DNA evidence.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Nov 10, 2010 1:47:39 PM

even OJ Simpson is "innocent", but there were 1 exoneration for 10 executions. According to Risinger the Dna death penalty exonerations are 5% of the total death sentences

Posted by: claudio giusti, italia | Nov 10, 2010 2:47:03 PM

"even OJ Simpson is 'innocent' "

But of course in reality he is guilty as sin. His being "innocent" as defined for the purpose of the "innocence list" merely illustrates that the list is not a list of people who are actually innocent of the crimes.

"but there were 1 exoneration for 10 executions"

Because, and only because, nowhere near enough of the sentences imposed have been executed. Far too many have been overturned for reasons having nothing to do with guilt of the crime. The main source of reversals through the 1980s and early 1990s was the Supreme Court's inability to agree with itself from one year to the next what the Constitution requires and what it forbids. Procedures adopted one year in the well-founded belief that the Supreme Court required them were overturned later, along with all the sentences rendered under them, when the high court simply changed its collective mind.

"According to Risinger the Dna death penalty exonerations are 5% of the total death sentences"

Not true. That would be upward of 350 death row DNA exonerations, and nobody claims that many.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Nov 10, 2010 3:02:11 PM

On second thought, scratch the "only because." Got a bit carried away.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Nov 10, 2010 3:03:45 PM

Kent, I find Scalia's analysis in Kansas v. Marsh entirely unconvincing. The public is correct in its belief that innocent people have been executed. After all innocent people are convicted. Consider the following cases just from the last two years in which injustice has been identified leading to improper convcitons. One can extrapolate that there are many more in which the injustice has not been identified.

William v. Ryan 2010 WL 4188304 (9th Cir. Oct. 26, 2010) (death penalty case remanded for evidentiary hearing on whether defendant prejudiced where prosecutor suppressed evidence suggesting an alternate person was the perpetrator which is "classic Brady material."); Stanley v. Schriro 598 F.3d 612 (9th Cir. March 11, 2010) (“Moreover, the increasing frequency with which innocent people have been vindicated after years of imprisonment counsels a different approach. See Samuel R. Gross et al., Exonerations in the United States 1989 through 2003, 95 J. CRIM. L. & CRIMINOLOGY 523, 523-24 (2004) (noting that from 1989 through 2003 exonerated individuals “spent more than 3,400 years in prison for crimes for which they should never have been convicted . . .”); State ex rel. Engel v. Dormire, 304 S.W. 3d 120, 2010 WL 623655 (Mo. 2010) (kidnapping conviction reversed where state failed to disclose letter suggesting that a prosecution witness had been paid for his testimony); Valdovinos v. McGrath, 598 F.3d 568 (9th Cir. 2010) (murder conviction vacated because "a pattern of non-disclosure permeated the proceedings against [petitioner]" which deprived petitioner of due process.); Robinson v. Mills, 592 F.3d 730 (6th Cir. 2010) (murder convction vacated where prosecution suppressed material impeachment information concerning its key witness); U.S. v. Johnson 592 F.3d 164 (C.A.D.C.,2010) (conviction for possessing heroin with intent to distribute vacated because of government's failure to to disclose evidence that heroin found in defendant's bedroom was actually owned by his cousin); Cone v. Bell, 129 S.Ct. 1769 (U.S.,2009) (Remand was required for review of the effect of prosecutor's suppression of evidence); Gonnella v. State, 686 S.E.2d 644 (Ga.,2009) (murder conviction reversed where prosecutor failed to disclose deal with accomplice); Simmons v. Beard, 590 F.3d 223 (3d Cir. 2009) (murder conviction and death penalty vacated because of due process violation where prosecutor failed to disclose that witness was pressured to cooperateand that a second witness committed perjury); Wilson v. Beard, 589 F.3d 651 (3d Cir. 2009) (murder conviction and sentence of death vacated because of prosecutor’s suppression of favorable information regarding witnesses criminal convictions and providing money to witnesses); Montgomery v. Bagley, 581 F.3d 440 (6th Cir. 2009) (murder conviction and death penalty vacated because of prosecutor’s failure to disclose exculpatory report from ‘witnesses who would have cast serious doubt on the State’s case.” ); U.S. v. Price, 566 F.3d 900 (9th Cir. 2009) (conviction reversed where prosecutor violated his due process duty under Brady to learn the results of investigation into criminal past of government witness); U.S. v. Reyes, 577 F.3d 1069 (9th Cir. 2009) (government violated due process by not disclosing favorable evidence discovered in parallel SEC proceedings); Douglas v. Workman, 560 F.3d 1156 (10th Cir. 2009) (murder conviction and death penalty vacated because of due process violation where prosecutor failed to disclose promise to key witness); Drake v. Portuondo, 553 F.3d 230 (2d Cir. 2009) (murder conviction vacated because of due process violation where prosecutor knew witness was testifying falsely); Harris v. Lafler, 553 F.3d 1028 (6th Cir. 2009) (murder conviction vacated because of due process violation where prosecutor suppressed promise to key witness); U.S. v. Robinson, 538 F.3d 1265 (10th Cir. 2009)(conviction reversed because of district court’s refusal to disclose informant’s mental health records to defense which violated Due Process)

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Nov 10, 2010 3:31:24 PM

You're right, Mr. Kent. I should have noticed the link, but the poll is still questionable.

Justice Scalia makes a powerful argument in Kansas v. Marsh.

It seems to go like this.

No one can prove an innocent was executed so the system works, and it worked for those who were wrongfully convicted because they were not killed. How dare they not be thankful. Justice Scalia's anecdotal evidence of some so-called exonerated implies all the exonerated were actually guilty.

In other words, innocence claims make mistakes but the government never does.

But how many states retained potential exculpatory DNA evidence of the executed? See for example

“I Did It”
Why do people confess to crimes they didn’t commit?

Frank Sterling apparently does not think the system worked just because he wasn't executed.

Posted by: George | Nov 10, 2010 3:55:26 PM

"but the poll is still questionable"

And I am not relying on or vouching for the poll. I simply pointed out a problem with the wording of a question.

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Nov 10, 2010 4:20:09 PM

The Gallup Poll, BTW, is discussed at C&C here:

http://www.crimeandconsequences.com/crimblog/2010/11/gallup-death-penalty-support-s.html

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Nov 10, 2010 5:21:35 PM


Q.E.D.

From: Steve Hall
Sent: Thursday, November 11, 2010 4:28 PM

http://www.texasobserver.org/cover-story/texas-observer-exclusive-dna-tests-undermine-evidence-in-texas-execution
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Texas Observer Exclusive: DNA Tests Undermine Evidence in Texas Execution
New results show Claude Jones was put to death on flawed evidence.

by Dave Mann
Claude Jones always claimed that he wasn’t the man who walked into an East Texas liquor store in 1989 and shot the owner. He professed his innocence right up until the moment he was strapped to a gurney in the Texas execution chamber and put to death on Dec. 7, 2000. His murder conviction was based on a single piece of forensic evidence recovered from the crime scene—a strand of hair—that prosecutors claimed belonged to Jones.
But DNA tests completed this week at the request of the Observer and the New York-based Innocence Project show the hair didn’t belong to Jones after all. The day before his death in December 2000, Jones asked for a stay of execution so the strand of hair could be submitted for DNA testing. He was denied by then-Gov. George W. Bush.
A decade later, the results of DNA testing not only undermine the evidence that convicted Jones, but raise the possibility that Texas executed an innocent man. The DNA tests—conducted by Mitotyping Technologies, a private lab in State College, Pa., and first reported by the Observer on Thursday—show the hair belonged to the victim of the shooting, Allen Hilzendager, the 44-year-old owner of the liquor store.
Because the DNA testing doesn’t implicate another shooter, the results don’t prove Jones’ innocence. But the hair was the only piece of evidence that placed Jones at the crime scene. So while the results don’t exonerate him, they raise serious doubts about his guilt. As with the now-infamous Cameron Todd Willingham arson case, the key forensic evidence in a Texas death penalty case has now been debunked.
“The DNA results prove that testimony about the hair sample on which this entire case rests was just wrong,” said Barry Scheck, co-founder of the Innocence Project, in a statement. “Unreliable forensic science and a completely inadequate post-conviction review process cost Claude Jones his life.”
Jones was 60 years old when he was executed on December 7, 2000—the last man put to death by then-Gov. Bush. The Observer and three innocence groups recently obtained the hair after a three-year court battle and submitted it for mitochondrial DNA testing.
That technology didn’t exist when Jones was convicted in 1990. But the DNA test had been developed by 2000, when Jones’ execution date was nearing. He requested a stay of execution from two Texas courts and from the governor’s office in order to test the hair evidence and prove his innocence. His requests were all denied.
Documents show that attorneys in the governor’s office failed to inform Bush that DNA evidence might exonerate Jones. Bush, a proponent of DNA testing in death penalty cases, had previously halted another execution so that key DNA evidence could be examined. Without knowing that Jones wanted DNA testing, Bush let the execution go forward.
Had the DNA tests been conducted before his execution, Jones might still be alive today. Scheck says these results, had they been obtained 10 years ago, probably would have led judges to throw out Jones’ conviction and grant him a new trial.
“I have no doubt that if President Bush had known about the request to do a DNA test of the hair he would have would have issued a 30-day stay in this case and Jones would not have been executed,” Scheck said.
Claude Jones was no saint. Born in Houston in 1940, he was arrested numerous times and spent three stints in prison on robbery, assault and theft charges. While serving an eight-year sentence in a Kansas prison for murder, Jones allegedly doused another inmate with lighter fluid and set him on fire.
But Jones wasn’t executed for his previous crimes. He was put to death for what allegedly happened on the afternoon of Nov. 14, 1989.
Jones and an accomplice named Kerry Daniel Dixon pulled into Zell’s liquor store in the East Texas town of Point Blank, about 80 miles northeast of Houston. They had a .357 magnum revolver given to them by Jones’ roommate, Timothy Jordan.
Either Jones or Dixon remained in the pickup truck, while the other went inside and shot the store’s owner, 44-year-old Allen Hilzendager, three times and made off with several hundred dollars from the cash register.
The question is, which of them committed the shooting? Witnesses who saw the crime from across the street couldn’t positively identify which man they saw leave the store. The third accomplice, Timothy Jordan, would testify that Jones confessed to the shooting. (Jordan later recanted his testimony, claiming police told him what to say in exchange for a lesser charge. Jordan, Dixon and Jones had committed a string of robberies, though the liquor store heist was the only one that involved murder. Jordan was sent to prison for 10 years. Dixon was given a 60-year sentence.)
But Jordan’s testimony wasn’t enough to convict Jones of murder. In Texas, accomplice testimony can’t be the sole basis for a conviction; it must be corroborated by independent evidence.
At Jones’ 1990 trial in rural San Jacinto County, prosecutors offered only one piece of corroborating evidence—the strand of hair recovered from the liquor store counter.
Stephen Robertson, a forensic expert hired by the Department of Public Safety, examined the hair under a microscope—an inaccurate visual analysis that was common at the time. Robertson compared the hair with samples taken from 15 people who entered the store the day of the murder. He testified at trial that he believed the hair matched Jones. But he conceded, “Technology has not advanced where we can tell you that this hair came from that person,” he told the jury, according to court records. “Can’t be done.”
But in 2000, when Jones was fighting for his life, it could be done. On December 6, 2000, the day before the execution, Jones’ attorneys filed a last-ditch motion for a stay—in district court and with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals—so they could submit the strand of hair for mitochondrial DNA testing. Both courts turned him down.
Jones’ last hope was Gov. Bush, who in December 2000 was embroiled in the Florida recount controversy that followed the presidential election. Bush had already overseen the execution of 151 people during his governorship, but he’d also expressed support for DNA testing. Earlier that year, Bush had granted a 30-day stay to Ricky McGinn so that DNA testing could be conducted on key evidence in the case. (The tests would prove McGinn’s guilt and he was executed.) Bush, explaining his decision in the McGinn case to CNN in June 2000, said, “To the extent that DNA can prove for certain innocence or guilt, I think we need to use DNA.”
But Bush was never told about Jones’ request for DNA testing. Trough a public-information request, the Innocence Project obtained the Dec. 7, 2000, memo that lawyers in the governor’s office sent to Bush, briefing him on the circumstances of Jones’ pending execution. The four-page memo doesn’t mention Jones’ request for DNA testing. Rather, it describes the disputed hair evidence as “testimony from a chemist employed by DPS that the hair samples taken from the crime scene matched those taken from Jones.”
The memo from the general counsel’s office concludes, “At this time, I do not recommend that a reprieve be granted.” Jones was executed a few hours later.
But the strand of hair survived, tucked away in a box in the San Jacinto County courthouse for years.
In fall 2007, the Observer, the national Innocence Project, the Innocence Project of Texas and the Texas Innocence Network filed a lawsuit to obtain the hair for DNA testing.
The county district attorney’s office fought release of the hair sample and announced its intention to destroy it. But in June 2010, Judge Paul Murphy ruled in favor of the Observer and the innocence groups, and ordered prosecutors to turn over the remaining hair evidence for DNA testing.
Anti-death penalty advocates had hoped that the Jones case would provide the first-ever DNA exoneration of an executed person. While quite a few death penalty cases have been called into question, including several in Texas, no executed prisoners have been proven innocent by DNA testing, widely considered the most reliable form of forensic evidence.
Instead, Jones' case now falls into the category of a highly questionable execution—a case that may not have resulted in a conviction were it tried with modern forensic science. In that respect, it's much like the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, executed in 2004 for starting a house fire that killed his three children. Fire scientists now say the arson evidence used to convict Willingham was flawed. (The Forensic Science Commission will continue its investigation of the Willingham case at hearing on Nov. 19.)
Still, the revelations in the Jones case raise more questions about how Texas administers the ultimate form of punishment.
“My father never claimed to be a saint, but he always maintained that he didn’t commit this murder,” said Claude Jones’ son, Duane, in a statement released by the Innocence Project. Duane Jones who didn’t know his father growing up and met Claude Jones when he was on death row. “Knowing that these DNA results support his innocence means so much to me, my son in the military and the rest of my family. I hope these results will serve as a wakeup call to everyone that serious problems exist in the criminal justice system that must be fixed if our society is to continue using the death penalty.”

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Nov 11, 2010 5:15:55 PM

there have been 10 cases released from US death row because of DNA exclusion.

Posted by: Dudley Sharp | Nov 17, 2010 4:38:49 PM

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