Thursday, 8 February 2007

Wrongful convictions dispute death penalty

February 8, 2007

New York

Wrongful convictions dispute death penalty

In response to the Feb. 1 article, "Killer's sentence sparks a debate: Death
penalty foes say prosecutors in police murders ducked law":

Retired Colonie Police Chief John Grebert's acknowledgment of the potential
for wrongful convictions is a welcome law enforcement voice in the death
penalty discussion. He is correct that the DNA databases are a useful tool
in identifying violent criminals; however, databases will not prevent
wrongful convictions and the real possibility of executing the innocent.

Douglas Warney and Jeffrey Deskovic were recently freed from New York state
prisons after spending 10 years or more for murders they did not commit. In
both cases the DNA at the time of the trial clearly did not match the
defendant, yet the juries convicted.

The district attorneys in their cases had no obligation to retest the DNA
and did not for more than a decade. What if no one had agreed to the new
tests and a sentence of death was in place? What if the real killer's DNA
was not yet part of the database?

DNA is only recovered in roughly 10 percent of murder cases. Olmado Hidalgo
and Barry Gibbs, also exonerated this year, were convicted of murder with no
DNA evidence. Their wrongful convictions only came to light as a result of
law enforcement investigations into separate crimes that just happened to
lead to the killers in their cases. The death penalty is an unwise, unsafe,
expensive policy.


Deputy Director

New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty



Source : Albany Times Union

1 comment:

Barbara's Journey Toward Justice said...

"Journey Toward Justice" Changed my mind about the Death Penalty. A Book Recommendation: This is the Companion book to The Innocent Man, Journey Toward Justice by Dennis Fritz. True Crime, Murder and Injustice in a Small Town. Journey Toward Justice is a testimony to the Triumph of the human Spirit and is a Memoir. Dennis Fritz was wrongfully convicted of rape and murder after a swift trail. The only thing that saved him from the Death Penalty was a lone vote from a juror. Dennis Fritz was the other Innocent man mentioned in John Grisham's Book which mainly is about Ronnie Williamson, Dennis Fritz's co-defendant. Both were exonerated after spending 12 years in prison. The real killer was one of the Prosecution's Key Witness. Read about why he went on a special diet of his while in prison, amazing and shocking. Dennis Fritz's Story of unwarranted prosecution and wrongful conviction needs to be heard. Look for his book in book stores or at , Journey Toward Justice by Dennis Fritz, Publisher Seven Locks Press 2006. Read about how he wrote hundreds of letters and appellate briefs in his own defense and immersed himself in an intense study of law. He was a school teacher and a ordinary man whose wife was brutally murdered in 1975 by a deranged 17 year old neighbor. On May 8th 1987, Five years after Debbie Sue Carter's rape and murder he was home with his young daughter and put under arrest, handcuffed and on his way to jail on charges of rape and murder. After 10 years in prison he discovered The Innocence Project, a non-profit legal organization. With the aid of Barry Scheck and DNA evidence Dennis Fritz was exonerated on April 15,1999 Since then, it has been a long hard road filled with twist and turns and now on his Journey Toward Justice. He never blamed the Lord and solely relied on his faith in God to make it through. He waited for God's time and never gave up.