Your scenario is exactly that of the women who convicted a black man of raping her only to find out 11 years later that he was innocent after a DNA test.
To be sure, the CJS has a lot more blood on its hands for wrongful exonerations and underprosecutions, than it ever will for wrongful convictions in death penalty cases. If we are to argue against capital punishment on the grounds of human fallability, then we should also argue against the Great Writ of habeas corpus along the same line of reasoning. After all, would it not be more prudent to retain custody of a defendant who is acqutted by a jury in a death penalty case wherein considerable danming evidence is presented during trial? What if he really is guilty and kills another innocent person subsequent to his release?
In the end, the law must choose in the face of objective uncertainty, even in matters of life and death. There is no way around this. The CJS could just as easily have acquitted Davis and released him back into society, only to have him shoot yet another police officer to death, or have commuted his sentence to 'life without parole', only to have him murder an inmate or C.O. soon after being released into prison general population. In both instances, the CJS would have the blood of the innocent on its hands, no differently than they would for executing Davis after wrongfully convicting him (if that is even the case here).
Last edited by Sig; 09-21-11 at 06:34 AM.
it always amuses me to see that some of the people who loudly campaign for less Government interference in their lives are the same people who are quite happy to give that same Government the absolute power to choose life over death even knowing mistakes can and have been made.
Why do we fall?
So we can learn to pick ourselves up.
Personally, overall, I see this as a form of moral blowback. The United States has been committing moral atrocities since the Cold War (Chile, Iran, Grenada) that go into the present day (Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya). This moral bankruptcy of the nation has come back to haunt the US domestically and this is just one form of it. If the federal government, the people who lead the nation can kill children and innocent civilians, terming them "collateral damage," cannot adhere to any moral values, how can other forms of government (eg state governments) adhere to any moral values?
"And in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness."
Last edited by X Factor; 09-21-11 at 07:49 AM.