This is from a story about the NC novelist [that] seeks new trial in wife's 2001 death. He is requesting a new trial because of possible state fabrication of evidence. He cites another case wherein exposed fabrication by the same state investigator caused the release of an innocent man.
"At a hearing Friday on [novelist] Peterson's request, two SBI agents testified they retested evidence from a 1993 murder trial and got results that raise serious questions about whether Deaver fabricated results that helped put an innocent man in prison for 17 years. That defendant won his release in 2010."17 years is a long time - but he has an opportunity to go on with his life - an executed person doesn't get that opportunity.
And see this Texas case.
"The US supreme court last year prevented his execution just 35 minutes before it was due to go ahead, and later ruled that he had the right to press for DNA testing. But the Texas prosecutor has consistently refused to hand over the evidence, and a new execution date was set for 9 November."And this Tennessee case causes one to pause and think a bit:
"The 58-year-old Memphis woman came within two months of being executed last year before her sentence was commuted — not because she was innocent, but because then-Gov. Phil Bredesen thought her punishment was excessive.
Owens admitted to hiring a hit-man in 1985 to kill her husband and the father of her two children. Supporters who tirelessly made the case to release her say she was an abused wife who has rehabilitated herself in prison."See this Georgia case:
The Georgia pardon and parole board’s refusal to grant him clemency is appalling in light of developments after his conviction: reports about police misconduct, the recantation of testimony by a string of eyewitnesses and reports from other witnesses that another person had confessed to the crime.And now the Oregon governor's position:
"Kitzhaber said he has no sympathy or compassion for murderers, but Oregon's death penalty scheme is "an expensive and unworkable system that fails to meet basic standards of justice.""The problem is that is basically bunk. The governor is permitted his conscience, but I agree with the Clatsop County district attorney: "It is arrogant and presumptuous for an elected official, up to and including the governor, to say, `I don't care with the voters say, I don't care what the courts say,"' and impose his own opinion "
The good doctor doesn't elaborate on "basic standards of justice." But, apparently there would be some standards by which the governor would approve of the death penalty. And the fact that it may be expensive doesn't alter the need for the death penalty. It is hardly less expensive to house someone for life. Although, life without any chance of parole - no parole board - no clemency - might be an alternative.
Pamela Fitzsimmons, in her blog Held to Answer, has this to say:
"What would you want for your killer, presuming he was caught and convicted (not all of them are)?
Would you want him to continue living – visiting with loved ones, watching TV, reading, eating a candy bar, negotiating with fellow inmates?
Would those mundane events available to your killer seem like a huge joy compared to death?"My answer to Pamela would be yes - I would want my murderer sentenced to death. But I would want the right one executed.
I am not against the death penalty, e.g., see this German case for something that seems appropriate. But, I am against the way it is too often determined resulting in the wrong person being sentenced, and am against the cost arguments to eliminate it. The fact that one person is wrongfully sentenced to death is sufficient to put the death penalty on hold until that process can be legitimized.