This was the cover story of yesterday’s Dallas Morning News. You’ve got to read it – it blows my mind.

 The gist: Dallas county leads the country in exonerations due to DNA testing. In other words, people who have received prison sentences as far back as the early 80’s are now being freed from their sentence and/or parole because DNA testing is showing they are innocent, not guilty.

Best quote: “Including work by private labs, 32 Dallas County cases have undergone post-conviction DNA testing, the district attorney’s office said. Twelve produced exonerations, nine affirmed the defendant’s guilt, and six are pending. Tests in five cases were inconclusive. ”

This means that 37.5% of the cases tested have shown that the jury made a mistake.

My take: I have no problem at all with capital punishment for people who have committed crimes that deserve it. I just have a problem with capital punishment within a flawed legal system. This story makes me sick.


6 responses to “Woops

  1. But what a great picture of the reality that our legal system is so good that it even corrects itself. On the one hand, yes, it really sucks for the individual, but on the other I’m still of the belief we have the most fair legal system ever to have existed on planet earth since the flaming sword waved outside of eden. But yea, kinda makes me a little oozy in the stomach. I’m for the death penalty, I’m just not a big fan…

  2. Good point. At least the legal system isn’t so flawed that it can’t make a wrong thing right.

  3. Here’s another fun fact I heard a while back… Texas leads the country with ruthless efficiency on acting out the death penalty once say ‘you are convicted’ (under a proven flawed system).

    Statistically speaking, since Texas kills most of it’s inmates on death row expeditiously–less waiting time on average than other states with the death penalty. This means that Texas leads the country on killing innocent people more quickly in the name of justice than other states!

    Do you think maybe we should slow down on the killin’ and figure out to how to improve our legal due process?

    (We can also be proud that we kill more Mentally Challenged folks than most states too… yee-haw!)

  4. Wow – haven’t even thought of that one.

    It’s a slippery slope, I think. On the one hand, if you’re in favor of capital punishment for those who undoubtedly deserve it, then I think the idea of swift action is appealing (and probably cost-effective, not that that should be the primary factor, but it is a factor).

    On the other hand, your statement of killing more innocent people more quickly is undeniable, and has to be addressed.

    I don’t really have a strong answer for your question, but I do have another question: What does capital punishment accomplish that a lifetime sentence with no chance for parole doesn’t?

  5. Whenever I commit a crime, I always bring someone else’s DNA.

  6. I was lying in bed the other night, and I thought to myself, “Why?” Then I heard a voice that answered, “Why what?”

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