Saturday, September 17, 2011

Governor Rick Perry SHOULD Care About Executing Innocent People
Wrongly Convicted in Texas!

In recent debates, Texas Governor Rick Perry stated he had no worries about the execution of innocent prisoners. He should have worries; it is a problem in Texas.



From the Innocence Project, which tries to reverse incorrect death penalty convictions, including an impressive list of convictions overturned because of DNA forensic evidence:

The Causes of Wrongful Conviction

As the pace of DNA exonerations has grown across the country in recent years, wrongful convictions have revealed disturbing fissures and trends in our criminal justice system. Together, these cases show us how the criminal justice system is broken – and how urgently it needs to be fixed.

We should learn from the system’s failures. In each case where DNA has proven innocence beyond doubt, an overlapping array of causes has emerged – from mistakes to misconduct to factors of race and class.

Countless cases

Those exonerated by DNA testing aren’t the only people who have been wrongfully convicted in recent decades. For every case that involves DNA, there are thousands that do not.

Only a fraction of criminal cases involve biological evidence that can be subjected to DNA testing, and even when such evidence exists, it is often lost or destroyed after a conviction. Since they don’t have access to a definitive test like DNA, many wrongfully convicted people have a slim chance of ever proving their innocence.
Common Causes

Here you will find further information about seven of the most common causes of wrongful convictions:
•Eyewitness Misidentification
•Unvalidated or Improper Forensic Science
•False Confessions / Admissions
•Government Misconduct
•Informants or Snitches
•Bad Lawyering

These factors are not the only causes of wrongful conviction. Each case is unique and many include a combination of the above issues. Review our case profiles to learn how the common causes of wrongful convictions have affected real cases and how these injustices could have been prevented.

To stop these wrongful convictions from continuing, we must fix the criminal justice system. Click here to learn about Innocence Commissions, a reform that can help identify and address the fundamental flaws in the criminal justice system that lead to wrongful convictions.

The chart below represents contributing causes confirmed through Innocence Project research. Actual numbers may be higher, and other causes of wrongful convictions include government misconduct and bad lawyering.

and this, the Texas Moratorium Network, which along with the Texas Innocence Project, looks at cases where innocent people are wrongly convicted, and in some cases, executed.  There is no lack of cases where Justice appears to have gone wrong.

Do we really want a man who doesn't acknowledge forensic evidence or the possiblity of innocent people convicted as President?  There are a lot more questions here to be asked - and answered; answered more honestly and with more depth and thought than Governor Perry appears to be giving the questions.

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