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- iHaveNet.com: Politics
by Robyn Blumner
People tend to have hardened views about the death penalty. Me, I'm opposed to it and always have been. But I ask the indulgence of those of you who favor the death penalty to give this a read and see what you think.
The death penalty costs a lot to implement, a side issue to be sure, but in these tough fiscal times, a consideration. Florida, for instance, spends about
I can hear the cries of "who cares what it costs?" or "let's make it cheaper by cutting out all those extra legal steps." But what should concern capital punishment proponents is that the system, even with these expensive safeguards, gets it wrong. Executing the innocent is a distinct possibility.
In 2009, nine men who had been convicted and sentenced to death were exonerated of their crimes and freed. The total now stands at 139 since 1973. According to the
And then there are the cases where a convict's innocence emerged too late. In a 2006 case concerning the death penalty law in Kansas,
Scalia's misguided confidence is troubling considering the infamous Florida case of Frank Lee Smith, whose death warrant was signed in 1989 for a rape and murder. It wasn't until after Smith died of cancer while awaiting execution that a DNA test in 2000 proved his innocence and implicated a convicted rapist and murderer.
And there is also Cameron Todd Willingham of Texas, who was convicted of killing his three young daughters by arson and executed in 2004. Forensic experts who have reviewed the case, including one enlisted by the
By all rights this should be the first case where a state formally exonerates a convict after putting him to death. Republican Gov. Rick Perry, currently in a pitched primary battle to win another gubernatorial term against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, refused to grant Willingham a stay of execution even though Perry had before him new scientific evidence disputing the arson.
Perry has so little interest in doing what is right in this case that he's gone out of his way to hamper the work of the
Another fairly recent action should jar death penalty supporters. The very group that laid out the modern framework for the implementation of capital punishment has now declared that the system is wholly unworkable and broken. In October, the
What we have now is not adequate while being extremely pricey. It is likely at least one innocent man has died and probably numbers more. This is why we should abolish the death penalty.
Death to the Death Penalty | Robyn Blumner
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