Thursday, September 22, 2011

No Fan Of The Death Penalty...

But even less a fan of the lying scum that are the mainstream media.  The variance between Ann Coulter's column about the Troy Davis execution and the mainstream media was so extreme that I went and looked at the federal court evidentiary hearing opinion from last year.  Yeah, I know, eyewitness testimony is not terribly reliable.  But this many witnesses were all coerced, bullied, or manipulated into lying in such a consistent way?  Including a U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel?  If Troy Davis wasn't the brutal thug and murderer, then this has to be among the most elaborate conspiracies ever put together to frame an innocent man.

5 comments:

Rich Horton said...

I agree with you 100%. I'm against the death penalty and I find the press' behavior beyond stupid.

Sigivald said...

I suspect Coulter's right on this one.

I also find her claim that every man executed since 1950 was guilty as hell to be extremely objectionable, and reminds me why I never, ever read her work.

Sertorius said...

Agreed, with one caveat. Coulter's over the top claim that there is no evidence of any wrongful executions in the last 60 years is not correct.

I am an attorney, and find the evidence in the case of Cameron Todd Willingham pretty persuasive that he was innocent. Mr. Willingham was executed in 2004. Perhaps reasonable people can differ on Mr. Willingham's case, but for Ms. Coulter to say there is more evidence for space aliens is silly.

Further, there have been at least 17 cases where the Innocence Project has vindicated (through DNA evidence) people who were on death row subsequent to wrongful convictions.

Now, perhaps every single wrongful death conviction 1) had DNA evidence available and 2) was caught in time for lawyers to vindicate the wrongfully accused person. If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

None of this, IMHO, undermines Ms. Coulter's strong arguments regarding Mr. Davis' guilt. But she extrapolates from one case where she is almost certainly right, to a broad generalization (no wrongful executions in the last 60 years) which is almost certainly wrong.

P.S. In my professional career, I have never met a criminal attorney, either defense or prosecution, who believes we have never executed an innocent person.

Clayton said...

It does seem a bit unlikely that in a criminal justice system operated by people that every person executed since 1950 was clearly guilty. I do find it interesting that the various innocence projects around the country, while they have raised some serious questions about the process, seem to have some problems finding a clear-cut example in recent times of a person who was clearly innocent but executed. They have to be out there. Perhaps our system, for all its faults, works not perfectly, but with surprising accuracy.

Sertorius said...

The mainstay of the Innocence Project is DNA testing, because if there is DNA present, and does not match the accused, that makes a very strong case for wrongful conviction.

The problem is that the great majority of crimes do not involve DNA evidence. For obvious reasons DNA plays a huge part in sex crime cases, but in your average shooting DNA will not play a part. This makes proving a wrongful conviction in such cases difficult.

I do encourage folks interested in wrongful conviction to read about Mr. Willingham. He was convicted of arson (resulting in deaths of his children).

This New Yorker article is a good starting point:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/07/090907fa_fact_grann?currentPage=all