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August 10, 2011

"Remedying Wrongful Execution"

The title of this post is the title of this new piece by Professor Meghan Ryan, which is now available via SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The first legal determination of wrongful execution in the United States may very well be in the making in Texas.  One of the state’s district courts was recently in the midst of investigating whether Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004, was actually innocent.  The court has been interrupted by objections from Texas prosecutors and the presiding judge’s retirement, but if the court proceeds, this may very well become a bona fide case of wrongful execution.  Texas, just like other jurisdictions, is ill-equipped to provide any relief for such an egregious wrong, however.

This Article identifies the difficulties that the heirs, families, and friends of wrongfully executed individuals face in attempting to obtain compensation for this wrong.  The Article highlights that statutory compensation schemes overlook the issue of wrongful execution and the greater injustice it entails and urges that the statutes be amended in light of this grievous wrong that has come to the fore of American criminal justice systems.

August 10, 2011 at 05:33 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Righto. If you can't actually show a "wrongful" execution, just posit one and go from there. Why didn't I think of that method when I was writing briefs?

Not that any of this is new. With the same indignation and the same certainty (or more), abolitionists decried the "wrongful execution" of Roger Keith Coleman.

They did this right up to the time that DNA evidence proved Coleman's guilt, after which -- instead of apologizing to the jury, judge and prosecutors they had falsely accused -- the abolitionist lobby just went back to mumbling about how Europeans Are Much More Enlightened.

This mostly did the trick until the next Article of Faith, which is what Willingham has turned into. Indeed, Willingham is to some abolitionists as the Shroud is to some Christians. Nothing matters but What They Believe, and that's just not going to change.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 10, 2011 6:05:13 PM

These anti-DP despots keep it up just like liberal NYT and WaPo editorial boards. They just can't let it go. Damn the facts just try and generate more and more NEWS and hope boards like this and newspapers will pick it up and run. This is all old news and doesnt deserve the time of day. More murders have been found not-guilty than innocents being executed. Thats a fact.

Posted by: DeanO | Aug 10, 2011 7:12:29 PM

"Righto. If you can't actually show a "wrongful" execution, just posit one and go from there."

Those guys from South Carolina got a posthumous pardon not long ago. The execution happened almost a century ago, but that doesn't change the fact that they were innocent.

Posted by: The Death Penalty Sucks. | Aug 10, 2011 7:12:41 PM

'More murders have been found not-guilty than innocents being executed. Thats a fact.'

Should we blame the incompetence of prosecutors for that too?

Posted by: james | Aug 10, 2011 7:28:26 PM

"More murders have been found not-guilty than innocents being executed. Thats a fact."

You would prefer the converse?

Posted by: The Death Penalty Sucks. | Aug 10, 2011 7:43:12 PM

"Those guys from South Carolina got a posthumous pardon not long ago. The execution happened almost a century ago, but that doesn't change the fact that they were innocent."

How do you know that? It was an era without real representation, scientific evidence or thorough investigations. Pardons this late are publicity stunts and nothing more.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Aug 10, 2011 7:47:23 PM

Or contrapositive or whatever the correct term is. Somebody with a philosophy degree can fill in the appropriate word.

Posted by: The Death Penalty Sucks. | Aug 10, 2011 7:47:54 PM

well mike considering what the governor of texas and the da's have pulled trying to keep this hidden i have to figure they know they have killed an innocent man and want to make sure the rest of us dont' know it for sure.

Posted by: rodsmith | Aug 10, 2011 8:02:23 PM

"How do you know that? It was an era without real representation, scientific evidence or thorough investigations. Pardons this late are publicity stunts and nothing more."

Oh, yeah, posthumous pardons in death penalty cases happen all the time, especially for black guys in the deep south.

Posted by: The Death Penalty Sucks. | Aug 10, 2011 8:02:41 PM

what's realy frightening is that now after all this in texas the little cooked nazi wants to be PRESIDENT!

Posted by: rodsmith | Aug 10, 2011 8:03:01 PM

Deano, et al:

"This is all old news and doesnt deserve the time of day. More murders have been found not-guilty than innocents being executed. Thats a fact."

What is the proper ratio in your mind of murdering (or incarcerating) innocents to letting criminal go free; 1:1, 10:1, 100:1, 1000:1.

I know, it is a human and thus fallible system. However, why do DAs, LE and similar folk scream the loudest when obvious improvements can be made; i.e., photo line-up procedures, dog-scent line-ups. junk science removed, etc.

I will respond when the discussion on this board goes to the next level.

Remember, for you non-scientists, that scientific evidence needs to know its limits on the specificity, accuracy, precision, ruggedness and repeatability in different labs of its methods.

Posted by: albeed | Aug 10, 2011 9:13:58 PM

@The Death Penalty Sucks
"Oh, yeah, posthumous pardons in death penalty cases happen all the time, especially for black guys in the deep south."
Which doesn't answer my question or defend your position at all.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Aug 10, 2011 10:30:58 PM

And STILL not a single word even acknowledging that the identical loud and certain claims of innocence for Roger Keith Coleman were a fraud. Not one word.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 10, 2011 11:09:41 PM

Bill:

You are not at the next level yet.

I have a vague recollection of the Roger Keith Coleman case. It is irrelevant to me.

To what levels are you willing to say with absolute certainty that the proper evidence was not contaminated or altered in favor of those who held the evidence.

You see, I have seen with my own eyes, police officers lie. Even you admitted (and accepted such). To what extent can we say that the system works even imperfectly (or cheats), especially with such high stakes.

Posted by: albeed | Aug 10, 2011 11:36:34 PM

All immunities have been justified by the Sovereign's speaking with the voice of God. This is psychotic, and religion based, which is unlawful in our secular nation. The liability of judges, prosecutors, juries qualifies for strict liability because all they do is hurt people, when doing their jobs properly. Liability will improve the appalling performance of these clowns. These are incompetents in total failure. Beyond the the issue of deterrence, liability will take away the full justification at the moral, intellectual, and policy levels for total self-help by the families of crime victims. With their immunity, they fully deserve to be beaten, and killed if they do not repent.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 11, 2011 12:30:18 AM

I think this is a great post. One thing that I find the most helpful is number five. Sometimes when I write, I just let the flow of the words and information come out so much that I loose the purpose. It’s only after editing when I realize what I’ve done. There’s defiantly a lot of great tips here I’m going to try to be more aware of.

Posted by: abercrombie and fitch | Aug 11, 2011 2:29:08 AM

"To what levels are you willing to say with absolute certainty that the proper evidence was not contaminated or altered in favor of those who held the evidence."

The DNA evidence that ultimately, conclusively proved Coleman's guilt was stored by Forensic Science Associates of Richmond, California, the lab chosen by the defense.

The sample was so small that it could not prove anything with the technology available at any time it was in possession of the police. The hypothesis that police planted the evidence but planted so little that it couldn't be used at the time is pretty far-fetched.

And where would police get a sample of Coleman's semen anyway, if not from the body of the murder victim?

Posted by: Kent Scheidegger | Aug 11, 2011 11:19:58 AM

It is no longer worth responding to those dp supporters who at times acknowledge, with the rest of the vast majority, that an innocent has probably been wrongly executed, but when faced with the probability of a specific actual innocence case find every reason under the sun to dispute it. I am occasionally in the audience of ex-death row inmates - and see and hear for myself the pain of their experience and the way in which their lives have been shattered over the years. I also have the experience of losing an innocent friend to the crass vindictiveness and incompetence of a Dallas prosecutor. Those who bleat like sheep that the death penalty is justified in spite of the mountain of evidence of unfairness and wrongdoing, are themselves directly responsible for deaths that result. Is it the fear they will have to admit that to themselves one day, the reason why they cannot bear to entertain the idea of innocence, and of wrongful execution?

Posted by: peter | Aug 11, 2011 11:31:46 AM

,How do you know that? It was an era without real representation, scientific evidence or thorough investigations. Pardons this late are publicity stunts and nothing more.

Mike, I think there is little doubt that Ed Johnson was innocent, considering the US Supreme Court at the time thought he was innocent. Reversing his conviction 94 years after his death was more than just a publicity stunt; it was an attempt to atone for a terrible wrong. Further, considering the innocent people who were prosecuted and sentenced to death in the 1930's and 1940's (the Scottsboro Boys, Arthur Ellington, Ed Brown and Henry Shields) and that the federal courts did not review state convictions 100 years ago, I am confident that there were quite a few miscarriages of justice at the time.

Posted by: Paul | Aug 11, 2011 11:37:23 AM

Paul --

Using cases from the Deep South of 70 or 80 or 100 years ago is preposterous as a means of showing that, at any time in the post-Gregg, super due process era -- which has now been with us for 35 years -- we have executed an innocent person.

By contrast, we know for a fact that Clarence Ray Allen was responsbile for three murders AFTER he was convicted of an earlier killing but was NOT executed. It was the FAILURE to impose the DP on Allen, not its imposition, that cost three innocent people their lives. See Allen v. Woodford, 395 F.3d 979 (9th Cir. 2004).

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 11, 2011 1:14:19 PM

peter --

"It is no longer worth responding to those dp supporters who at times acknowledge, with the rest of the vast majority, that an innocent has probably been wrongly executed..."

Then don't respond. It's not like anyone here is begging for it.

Your high-handedness and your True Believer certainty are astounding, given how consistently and lopsidedly your side loses in the court of public opinion (not to mention regular court).

To some, this might inspire a sense of modesty. But to you, it just inspires the Further Preening of the Morally Astute.

Yikes.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 11, 2011 1:21:24 PM

I agree Bill, arguing that Cameron Willingham and Larry Swearingen are innocent because Ed Johnson and the Scottsboro boys were innocent is as logically incorrect as arguing Cameron Willingham and Larry Swearingen are guilty because Roger Coleman was guilty.

Mike argued that we could not know whether someone like Ed Johnson was innocent. I quoted him in italics so that everyone reading my post would understand the point I was replying to. Somehow that escaped you.

Posted by: Paul | Aug 11, 2011 2:14:30 PM

Paul --

1. And MY point was that whether Ed Johnson or anyone from that time and place was innocent says nothing about the topic at hand, that being whether in THIS day and time we are executing innocent people. Did that escape you?

What certainly seems to have escaped you is the Clarence Ray Allen case, in which it is an adjudicated fact (in the Ninth Circuit no less) that the FAILURE to impose and carry out the DP after Allen's first murder cost three innocent people their lives.

Now that I've raised it again, presumably it won't escape you again. So I'll ask you: Do you deny that three innocent people were killed because we failed to execute Allen when we could have, after his first murder?

2. Wanna tell me who's arguing that Willingham is guilty BECAUSE Coleman was guilty?

Righto. The point, which you could not have missed, was that the same loud and table-pounding insistence that an innocent person was executed has been seen before, and was fraudulent.

That such fraud was used by abolitionists says nothing about Willingham's guilt (although his own lawyer had plenty to say about it). But it says a good deal about the willingness of some abolitionists to lie about the subject of supposed innocents who've been executed. And their refusal to apologize after having been proven wrong says even more.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 11, 2011 3:05:38 PM

I think the fact that 17 people who were sentenced to death have been later exonerated through DNA testing is nearly conclusive evidence that innocent people have been executed in the past. Either that, or you have to believe that no innocent people were sentenced to death and executed prior to the availability of DNA testing. That doesn't seem realistic.

The reason that there aren't more documented cases of innocent people being executed is that (1) it's hard to prove that someone didn't commit a crime, especially without DNA evidence, and (2) once someone is executed, interest in proving him or her innocent drops dramatically.

And I don't have any problem saying that DNA testing showed that Coleman was guilty. That in no way proves that other innocent people haven't been executed.

Posted by: SRS | Aug 11, 2011 4:46:33 PM

@peter
"It is no longer worth responding to those dp supporters who at times acknowledge, with the rest of the vast majority, that an innocent has probably been wrongly executed, but when faced with the probability of a specific actual innocence case find every reason under the sun to dispute it."
Given how many times the ani-dp community have been wrong and how serious the situation is I'm not sure you can blame us for pointing out the weaknesses of your theories. Add to that the number of times anti-dp campaigners, like all activists, have bent to the truth to the point of fiction in order to influence the public. Most of the stories in 'the Exonerated' are more fiction than reality.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Aug 11, 2011 5:07:13 PM

@Paul
"Mike, I think there is little doubt that Ed Johnson was innocent, considering the US Supreme Court at the time thought he was innocent. Reversing his conviction 94 years after his death was more than just a publicity stunt; it was an attempt to atone for a terrible wrong. Further, considering the innocent people who were prosecuted and sentenced to death in the 1930's and 1940's (the Scottsboro Boys, Arthur Ellington, Ed Brown and Henry Shields) and that the federal courts did not review state convictions 100 years ago, I am confident that there were quite a few miscarriages of justice at the time."
Your argument, while not factually wrong, does not prove his innocence. It undermines his case, a much lower standard.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Aug 11, 2011 5:54:35 PM

Mike, Bill - why should we tolerate the knowing execution of innocent men and women?; why should we tolerate the knowing destruction and waste of life in maximum security prisons, either locked up in solitary or forced to run the gauntlet of a prison jungle of gang control. You have no answers as to why non-dp states and countries manage society without resort to executions, and usually with far greater effectiveness in the control of murder and violence. You have no answers to why different (more liberal?) judicial and penal systems appear at least no less effective, and usually more effective, in suppressing crime. Your exclusive concern is punishment, and the harshest punishment at that, regardless of the effect it has on society or on the crime levels we would all wish to see minimized. That is neither justice nor socially responsible. Your state of denial that the dp systems of the US are broken and incapable of effective repair is based not on reason, not even on merely a blind faith that error cannot occur, but on an obsession the right to execute must be upheld whatever the cost. When you start to speak in terms that acknowledge the wrongs of present systems, then a useful debate can commence. Until then, you see no evil and hear no evil, yet speak it every time you deny the probability of wrongful execution and the possibility of innocence of those convicted.

Posted by: peter | Aug 12, 2011 7:22:44 AM

Peter: I would like to see more disclosure by the left of their economic self-interest in keeping murderers alive. Their real agenda is to preserve the lives of murderers to generate massive government sinecures. Dead victims and executed murderers generate nothing for the left. Without such disclosures their arguments are sneaky and in bad faith.

The proper comparison between the murder rate in Scandinavia and that of the US, is not to compare with Detroit. It has to be compared to the murder rate of white Scandinavians in Minnesota (quite low).

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 12, 2011 8:55:24 AM

peter --

"When you start to speak in terms that acknowledge the wrongs of present systems, then a useful debate can commence."

Translation: "When you surrender, then we can negotiate."

Far out, peter.

Only I won't be surrendering, since I'm winning big time (see Gallup). But I will say this: When you start to speak in terms that acknowledge that there are some murders so heartless and sadistic that mere incarceration strikes most normal people as inadequate, then a useful debate can commence.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 12, 2011 1:12:23 PM

SRS --

"I don't have any problem saying that DNA testing showed that Coleman was guilty. That in no way proves that other innocent people haven't been executed."

But it does prove that abolitionists are willing to lie about cases in which they have claimed, for years and with great indignation, that an innocent person was executed. It thus also proves that similar claims, like the ones raised now about Willingham, must be examined with a grain (or maybe a bag) of salt. Falsus in uno, etc.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 12, 2011 1:25:07 PM

Hey Bill,

I'll acknowledge that, and I'm still against the death penalty. I understand that you and Kent and many other death penalty supporters are motivated by retribution, which is really the only reasonable justification for the death penalty. And that's fine. But I dislike retribution on principle and on personal grounds, because I think it's a crappy basis for a civilized system of justice. Can you respect that?

Look at Anthony Sowell. He's a virtual textbook DP defendant: there's virtually no reason to believe he's innocent, he killed many women, and he's probably just a plain evil bastard who is dangerous to everyone he meets. I can understand the reasons to give him death. But that doesn't mean I have to agree with them. And I don't think the fact that I would rather give him LWOP than death means I'm somehow a lesser moral being than you are. Can you agree with that? Because if so, that's some place for us to start a discussion. If not . . . well, then you're just a blowhard. And I have a friend who knows you and has worked with you, and he assures me that's NOT the case. I hope you prove him right.

Posted by: Ohio PD | Aug 12, 2011 4:08:15 PM

Bill -

I don't recall anyone "lying" about the Coleman case. Coleman's supporters argued, at length, why they believed an innocent man was executed. Until the DNA results, their arguments were perfectly legitimate. Do you consider anyone who takes a position other than yours to be "lying"?

Also, since I know that silence on an issue has great meaning for you, I guess you concede the rest of my post, about exonerated death row inmates.

Posted by: SRS | Aug 12, 2011 5:40:58 PM

Ohio PD --

"I would rather give him LWOP than death means I'm somehow a lesser moral being than you are. Can you agree with that?"

Sure I agree with it. But the problem isn't that retentionists accuse abolitionists of being lesser moral beings. The problem is the other way around, see, e.g., any post by peter or claudio.

My problem with abbies is not that there inferior, morally or in any other way. My problem with them is that they're wrong.

"And I have a friend who knows you and has worked with you, and he assures me that's NOT the case. I hope you prove him right."

John M. doesn't need me to prove him right. We miss him down here in the Old Dominion and hope (and are quite sure) that he continues to be the wonderfully good-hearted guy who was a much-valued colleague a few years back. He can catch my musings (and he caught a lot of them in the USAO) on Crime and Consequences.

P.S. To be perfectly honest, I must confess, as most lawyers would have to, to a number of blowhard tendencies, as John knows quite well but is too polite to say.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 12, 2011 6:42:43 PM

SRS --

"I don't recall anyone 'lying' about the Coleman case."

Then you missed dozens of unqualified, indignant assertions, year after year, that Coleman was innocent and that the prosecutors who convicted him were, in effect, guilty of murder.

"Coleman's supporters argued, at length, why they believed an innocent man was executed."

They started off by saying THAT an innocent man was executed, and that was point-blank false, as Coleman's jury had correctly found.

"Do you consider anyone who takes a position other than yours to be 'lying'?"

Some people who disagree with me on this site are liars, you bet. By far the majority are not.

"Also, since I know that silence on an issue has great meaning for you, I guess you concede the rest of my post, about exonerated death row inmates."

This is what happens when you guess.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Aug 12, 2011 6:57:39 PM

@peter
"Mike, Bill - why should we tolerate the knowing execution of innocent men and women?"
I don't, but I fail to see how dying of old age while serving LWOP is any better than being executed as an innocent person. Either way, the state is taking your life. How do you justify supporting a system where innocent men and women have been sent to prison?

"why should we tolerate the knowing destruction and waste of life in maximum security prisons, either locked up in solitary or forced to run the gauntlet of a prison jungle of gang control. "
Because there is no alternative for remorseless and violent individuals.

"You have no answers as to why non-dp states and countries manage society without resort to executions, and usually with far greater effectiveness in the control of murder and violence. "
Venezuela, Russia, Mexico and the Philippines are considerably more violent.

"You have no answers to why different (more liberal?) judicial and penal systems appear at least no less effective, and usually more effective, in suppressing crime. "
And here, you're simply wrong. Our justice system was considerably more liberal and forgiving in the 60's, 70's and 80's and our crime rates soared. They plummeted in the 90's, also the time of 3 strikes laws and most of our executions.

"Your state of denial that the dp systems of the US are broken and incapable of effective repair is based not on reason, not even on merely a blind faith that error cannot occur, but on an obsession the right to execute must be upheld whatever the cost."
Go through the blog section and show me where I said anything of the kind.

"Until then, you see no evil and hear no evil, yet speak it every time you deny the probability of wrongful execution and the possibility of innocence of those convicted."
I poke holes in anti-dp arguments, that's expecting you to back up your beliefs. Nothing more.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Aug 12, 2011 8:41:34 PM

Mike, Bill - why should we tolerate the knowing execution of innocent men and women?
"I don't, but I fail to see how dying of old age while serving LWOP is any better than being executed as an innocent person. Either way, the state is taking your life. How do you justify supporting a system where innocent men and women have been sent to prison?"

1. 2 wrongs don't make a right. You know that I have no love of LWOP as such. In my view, all Life sentences should be subject to periodic review to evaluate the success, if any, of remedial programs and personal development. This would include a review of future dangerousness as ameliorated by age. I do not justify any system where innocent men and women have been sent to prison. Many of the weaknesses I have ascribed to the dp process are applicable, regrettably, throughout the criminal justice system, and need to be addressed.

Why should we tolerate the knowing destruction and waste of life in maximum security prisons, either locked up in solitary or forced to run the gauntlet of a prison jungle of gang control.
"Because there is no alternative for remorseless and violent individuals."

2. There is every alternative for more humane and purposeful secure detention as many other jurisdictions, including European ones, demonstrate. Solitary confinement always needs constant review, and does not signify a necessity for primitive and repressive conditions of detention.

You have no answers as to why non-dp states and countries manage society without resort to executions, and usually with far greater effectiveness in the control of murder and violence.
"Venezuela, Russia, Mexico and the Philippines are considerably more violent."

3. Isn't it excruciatingly embarrassing to compare the great USA with such countries? Surely comparison with other mature democratic countries such as those in the EU, Canada, Australia and the like is far more appropriate? In any case, your answer avoids the question.

You have no answers to why different (more liberal?) judicial and penal systems appear at least no less effective, and usually more effective, in suppressing crime.
"And here, you're simply wrong. Our justice system was considerably more liberal and forgiving in the 60's, 70's and 80's and our crime rates soared. They plummeted in the 90's, also the time of 3 strikes laws and most of our executions."

4. You have selected a particular period of history that was blighted by the massive impact of drugs, and a probable awareness of a growing inequality of wealth in society. The pattern of crime rate you refer to was pretty well equally matched in dp and non-dp states, and while the harsh response clearly had some impact on reduction, there were equally many other factors at work also. It is widely acknowledged that the "war on drugs" has failed to address many fundamental problems of availability and abuse. It is equally obvious that the policy of extraordinary long and severe sentences, including executions, has had a negative effect on society, and provided cover for the poor administration of justice.

Your state of denial that the dp systems of the US are broken and incapable of effective repair is based not on reason, not even on merely a blind faith that error cannot occur, but on an obsession the right to execute must be upheld whatever the cost.
"Go through the blog section and show me where I said anything of the kind."

5. Easier for you to state here and now that:
a) you agree dp systems ARE broken and incapable of effective repair
b) you DO believe error occurs, with the result of likely wrongful execution, however rare you consider this to be
c) you do NOT believe that the death penalty should be retained whatever the cost.

Until then, you see no evil and hear no evil, yet speak it every time you deny the probability of wrongful execution and the possibility of innocence of those convicted.
"I poke holes in anti-dp arguments, that's expecting you to back up your beliefs. Nothing more."

6. I disagree. I cannot think of a single case of contested guilt, or level of culpability, discussed on this blog, even where a legal commutation or exoneration has taken place, where you have expressed any view of support. More usually it has been condemnation, often in vitriolic terms of "liberal" deviance. If I am mistaken, then I am happy to have this view corrected by appropriate reference.

Posted by: peter | Aug 13, 2011 6:11:42 AM

Bill,

"Sure I agree with it. But the problem isn't that retentionists accuse abolitionists of being lesser moral beings. The problem is the other way around, see, e.g., any post by peter or claudio."

Well, I'm an "abbie," and I certainly don't do that. I think it's unhelpful and ridiculous to do so. And anyway, it's all just rhetoric--rhetoric that gets overheated on BOTH sides.

I read C&C as much as, if not more, than I read SL&P. As a state-law practitioner, I have little interest in the minutae of the federal sentencing guidelines. So C&C, with its broader (albiet more ideological) focus, is more useful to me. Plus, I'm always up for understanding how the opposite number thinks.

I guess at root I want to know WHY you think the DP is so important. And most interestingly to me, given that you're so interested in less government involvement in other areas, why you believe so strongly in the ultimate government involvement. Based on the things of yours that I've read, it appears to be retributive. But that seems both too simple and too narrow an explanation.

For my part, I'm not an "abbie" who rests on moral authority for the abolition of the death penalty. I believe it's bad policy because it is so difficult to apply evenly--which cases are really "death" cases? And no, I don't trust prosecutors, judges or even juries on that point.
Also, I do think it's likely, although probably impossible to prove to your satisfaction, that an innocent person has been executed in the Due Process Plus era. The system most often works, but it also fails. All systems do.

Thanks for responding. And I'll tell JM you said hello--I told him to get in touch with you via C&C.

Posted by: Ohio PD | Aug 13, 2011 11:02:27 AM

Mr. Otis:

As to the Roger Coleman case:

(1) what is the source of your knowledge of the facts and procedural history of the case? and

(2) did you participate in any part of the post-conviction litigation?

Posted by: Fred | Aug 13, 2011 3:29:25 PM

Ohio PD: Please address abbie problems.

1) Cost. It is bad faith to generate appellate fees, then to claim the DP is too expensive. You are the cause of the cost, and you are taking it home, to support your lifestyle. Pretty nervy to make that false argument.

2) Innocence. The rates are mistakes which should be remedied in torts liability against all wrongdoing parties, including the jury. Buy insurance as productive people do, if you are anxious about your personal assets. The lawyer is so stupid and incompetent, using idiotic worthless, Medieval rules of evidence, that specific deterrence would benefit the profession. All enterprises have error rates. Demands for perfection before allowing the activity is ridiculous. End all transportation, including walking on the sidewalk, until no one is wrongfully killed doing so. The demand for perfection is hypocritical and is ridiculous would it not be the total bias of the lawyer profession and of the media in favor of protecting the criminal, again a source of revenue. If you want to criticize an error rate, shut the dumbass lawyer profession. It is in total failure, and the most incompetent of modern professions. Shut it down until it gets fixed.

3) License to Kill. More people are murdered in prison b lawyer protected murderers each year than are executed by an order of magnitude. These include staff, visitors, doctors, prisoners, people who have done nothing to deserve the DP from your customer, except say the word, no to the murderer. Abolish the DP, and your customer has a better license to kill than James Bond. He has to answer to civil service and politicians for his extra-judicial executions. No such worry for your customer. He can start an assassination business in prison, and nothing can be done to him.

4) Defending the constitution, not really the sexually sadistic serial murderer. The Constitution endorses the death penalty as it does no other. You are just a liar or a denier, because you are attacking and defiling the constitution when opposing the DP. I can't believe people saying that they are defending the constitution do not get spit at by any high school grad who has read the constitution.

5) Disgust. What you do, and your methods are morally reprehensible. The lawyer hierarchy is protecting you to generate massive make work government sinecures. Once the public has had enough with this, the greatest criminal syndicate in the world, the hierarchy will be arrested, get an hour's fair trial, and get shot immediately after the verdict in the court basement. No other criminal syndicate makes 99% of the policy decisions of its government as this one does. They do not corrupt or bribe the government. They have thoroughly infiltrated it and totally control it.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Aug 13, 2011 10:45:38 PM

@peter
1. I don't view either LWOP or the death penalty as a wrong. As for all life sentences being up to periodic review, you will have to get used to one thing: criminals will walk out of prison and kill or rape again. Every system is fallible, parole is no exception.
2. We tried more lenient means of incarceration, once again in the 60's and 70's. This was the era that saw the rise of prison gangs like the Aryan Brotherhood. How would you convince prison killers to refrain from attacking guards and inmates without solitary confinement?
3. What countries can we compare ourselves to? As for the liberal justice systems working better, countries like the UK had a lower crime rate when they had a hanging every week, so I don't think it made a difference big enough to effect percentages.
4. I spoke of 3 strikes laws AND the death penalty. Even states without the death penalty incorporated mandatory minimums, truth in sentencing and 3 strikes laws and saw a drop in the crime rate. As for the 60's and 70's being unique because an explosion in drug use, the 90's saw the rise of the meth epidemic. Still, this was the era of 'tough on crime' and the crime rates plummeted.
5. When you bring forward a convincing armument, I'll do one or all of those three.
6. In what post did I spew vitriol on liberals?

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