Re: Rellis Smith's May 17 commentary, â€œExecutions need to be carried outâ€?:
Smith says the system should be severely upgraded, but there is neither the political will nor the money for that to ever happen. Even if it did, the justice system would still never be able to be absolutely sure that those condemned to death are all guilty.
The Innocence Project has now freed more than 200 people who were wrongly convicted. Many of them had been on death row, and most had served decades in jail for crimes they did not commit. These were all cases in which DNA evidence was available to clear the suspects. In the vast majority of cases, there is no DNA evidence available, so one has to wonder how many thousands more prisoners are also innocent.
The same things that led to those erroneous convictions â€” sloppy police work, officers lying in court, prosecutors withholding evidence, mistaken eyewitnesses, lying snitches â€” must also be present in at least the same percentage in cases where there is no DNA evidence.
Instead of being concerned with those facts, Mr. Smith wants to speed up the process, which, of course, would lead to even more innocent people being executed.
The people on death row are mostly minorities and the poor. What conservatives are really thinking is, "No one in my family or acquaintance is ever likely to be wrongly convicted."
Thus, if a few innocents slip through the cracks and are executed, it is no skin off their backs.
â€” Alex Magdaleno, Camarillo