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Tue Apr 29, 2014, 01:23 PM

Study: One Out of Twenty Five Death Row Inmates Is Innocent

How many American prisoners have been wrongfully convicted of the crimes they're serving time for? Answering that question would help measure the effectiveness the criminal justice system.

Researchers of a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences tried to get to this answer by reviewing death penalty cases. Because of the life-or-death stakes involved, a lot more effort is exerted to exonerate death row inmates than any other cohort of inmate.

In fact, according to the research, 1.7 percent of all death row inmates are eventually exonerated. It's a higher number than the one quoted by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in Kansas v. Marsh, a case about the death penalty. He claimed the error rate was .027 percent. The researchers dismissed that number; they say it was arrived at by extending the exoneration rate of a small subgroup of inmates (capital cases) to the wider American prison population.

Instead, the researchers used the exoneration rate on death row and extended it to inmates whose capital punishment is replaced by life imprisonment, at which point efforts to exonerate them largely subside. Based on that idea, they estimate 4.1 percent, or one in 25, of all death row inmates are innocent, meaning that they would be exonerated if they remained on death row.

more

http://reason.com/blog/2014/04/29/study-one-out-of-twenty-five-death-row-i

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply Study: One Out of Twenty Five Death Row Inmates Is Innocent (Original post)
n2doc Apr 2014 OP
truebrit71 Apr 2014 #1
JustAnotherGen Apr 2014 #3
truebrit71 Apr 2014 #14
JustAnotherGen Apr 2014 #16
truebrit71 Apr 2014 #20
The Magistrate Apr 2014 #2
JustAnotherGen Apr 2014 #4
morningfog Apr 2014 #6
KamaAina Apr 2014 #15
Shoulders of Giants Apr 2014 #9
Logical Apr 2014 #10
The Magistrate Apr 2014 #11
Logical Apr 2014 #12
The Magistrate Apr 2014 #13
Egnever Apr 2014 #19
Logical Apr 2014 #22
RedCappedBandit Apr 2014 #17
Victor_c3 Apr 2014 #21
surrealAmerican Apr 2014 #24
Drale Apr 2014 #5
Arugula Latte Apr 2014 #7
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2014 #8
RedCappedBandit Apr 2014 #18
ZombieHorde Apr 2014 #23
etherealtruth Apr 2014 #25
whopis01 Apr 2014 #26

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 01:24 PM

1. Frankly I'm surprised it's that low a percentage...

 

...

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Response to truebrit71 (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 01:26 PM

3. ITA eom

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 02:55 PM

14. ???

 

"ITA"??

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Response to truebrit71 (Reply #14)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 03:09 PM

16. In Total Agreement

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #16)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 03:25 PM

20. Aaah!! Thanks!

 

For some reason I just couldn't work that out!!

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 01:26 PM

2. This, Sir, Is The Only Legitimate Argument Against Capital Punishment

And it is a weighty one.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 01:27 PM

4. Plus 100

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 01:59 PM

6. Not the only, but the most likely to prevail.

 

Other arguments against the DP include the extreme cost and resources, that it is cruel and unusual punishment, and that is an act of killing.

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Response to morningfog (Reply #6)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 02:56 PM

15. And that, in practice, it is racially biased

 

The race of the victim matters more than the race of the killer. In effect, the penalty for taking a white life is death, while for taking a black life, it's life in prison without parole.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 02:17 PM

9. No I think the humanitarian argument is a legitimate argument.

I don't like the idea that the government has the power to kill people who are no longer a threat to society. Vengeance solves nothing. I wish we as a society did not sink to the level of the people who are on death row. This is the main reason I'm against the death penalty. However, the fact that there are innocent people on death row adds to the problem. An innocent person on who gets executed on death row can't appeal a false conviction.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 02:39 PM

10. Well, and not killing people is another. nt

 

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Response to Logical (Reply #10)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 02:43 PM

11. I Have Little Regard For That One, Sir: States Kill, It Is What They Do

The question boils down to how good is the state's aim in particular instances.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #11)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 02:52 PM

12. We'll sir you must agree with the leaders of the other countries who love the.....

 

Death penalty! Not many I admire!

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Response to Logical (Reply #12)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 02:55 PM

13. You Know Who Else Liked Jelly Omelets, Sir? ---- HITLER!!!!!

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #13)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 03:23 PM

19. Well played!

 

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #13)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 04:05 PM

22. Stupid comparison. But you know that. Nt

 

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 03:17 PM

17. It's the only argument we need. But not the only one.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 03:50 PM

21. Yup yup

and that is coming from a guy that is on the fence on capital punishment (or who at least was until hearing this number). That is a totally startling number.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 07:57 PM

24. There are a lot of legitimate arguments, this is but one.

How about the fact that it's more costly than the alternatives, yet no more effective at preventing crime?

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 01:47 PM

5. The exact reason Illinois abolished the Death Penalty /nt

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 02:06 PM

7. Any truly civilized society would look at the possibility of one innocent person

 

being executed as a factor that makes state-performed execution entirely unacceptable. The fact that many, many innocent people have been killed in our names says volumes about this country.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 02:07 PM

8. The death penalty must go

 

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 03:17 PM

18. But point out that when you support the DP, you're supporting the murder of innocents

and people will be outraged at you.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 06:54 PM

23. I really don't care for the dp. nt

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 08:15 PM

25. Of this I have no doubt n/t

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Tue Apr 29, 2014, 10:02 PM

26. What sucks is that getting rid of the death penalty won't fix much.

If the death penalty is eliminated, anyone who would have gotten it is likely to get life in prison. So all the innocent ones will just be locked up for life.

Of course, as long as they are alive there is a chance that they will be exonerated. I get that. But it is still a life of hell for an innocent person to be locked away for a crime they didn't commit. I am sure it feels good to get set free after 20, 30, 40 years or more - but that only feels good because it is better than the alternative of staying wrongfully imprisoned. It is a far cry from how they should have been treated to begin with.

And, as pointed out in the article, people don't try as hard to get a lifer exonerated as they do someone on death row.

Don't get me wrong - the death penalty has no redeeming qualities and needs to be banned immediately. It just pisses me off that it still won't help many.

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