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What If Texas Executed an Innocent Man?

Fished (574624) writes | about 5 years ago

News 3

Fished writes "In the debate on the modern death penalty, proof that an innocent man has actually been executed in modern times has become a grisly milestone--proof that even with all the modern safeguards, the death penalty is still fundamentally flawed. In the words of Sandra Day O'Connor, 'execution of a legally and factually innocent person would be a constitutionally intolerable event.' Regrettably, as detailed in this article from the New Yorker, which includes fascinating details on the science fire investigation, that milestone appears to have been met. On February 17, 2004, Cameron Todd Willingham was executed for a fire that killed his 3 daughters, a fire that was not, after all, arson. May he rest in piece."
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Executed people turn out to be Innocent... (1)

lbalbalba (526209) | about 5 years ago | (#29747637)

...more often than you like. New evidence presents itself after some time, and it turns out that the wrong person was executed. This is one of the primarily points of people who are against the death penalty: it's irrevocable, even if you turn out to be wrong.

A legally flawed system (1)

babboo65 (1437157) | about 5 years ago | (#29750523)

The decision to end someone's life for a crime is not just some big decision to make that day - any jury, state, court, etc. undertaking the choice of life or death away from another person is assuming a great control. Do I think a person proven guilty of rape, murder, pedophilia, etc deserve to be punished to the furthest extent of the law our society allows? certainly. Do I think we can wield the power of life or death with the ease of a gavel dropping? no. While the murderer had no such compunction when they decided to take another person's life it does not mean we, as a society, should lower ourselves to that same standard.

It has always been a possibility, probability, and likelihood that an innocent would be executed. And Texas has had the fastest rate of executions - something they PRIDE themselves on in most cases. Regardless of trying to prove what gritty and swift justice we dole out - the state of Texas is now proven to be guilty of a murder - just like the jury, the trail judge, the attorneys (obviously the defense failed an innocent man). They are all equally guilty of this man's murder.

So this begs the question - with all the cases where it has later been proven an innocent person has been jailed for years for a crime they did not commit, with all the times an innocent man or woman has been destroyed by a legal system that operates on the grist of their lives. What is the compensation for the innocent? How do you repay the mother who has been denied years with her children or the man whos career has been ruined or the man who has been killed - all in the name of justice, swift and sure.

Some states have been compensating these people monetarily. How will Cameron Todd Willingham be repayed?

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