The wrong Carlos: how Texas sent an innocent man to his death - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-16-2012, 02:28 PM   #1
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Thumbs Up The wrong Carlos: how Texas sent an innocent man to his death

Great article from The Guardian:

The wrong Carlos: how Texas sent an innocent man to his death | World news | The Guardian

Quote:
A few years ago, Antonin Scalia, one of the nine justices on the US supreme court, made a bold statement. There has not been, he said, "a single case – not one – in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit. If such an event had occurred … the innocent's name would be shouted from the rooftops."

Scalia may have to eat his words. It is now clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit, and his name – Carlos DeLuna – is being shouted from the rooftops of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. The august journal has cleared its entire spring edition, doubling its normal size to 436 pages, to carry an extraordinary investigation by a Columbia law school professor and his students.

The book sets out in precise and shocking detail how an innocent man was sent to his death on 8 December 1989, courtesy of the state of Texas. Los Tocayos Carlos: An Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution, is based on six years of intensive detective work by Professor James Liebman and 12 students.

Starting in 2004, they meticulously chased down every possible lead in the case, interviewing more than 100 witnesses, perusing about 900 pieces of source material and poring over crime scene photographs and legal documents that, when stacked, stand over 10ft high.

What they discovered stunned even Liebman, who, as an expert in America's use of capital punishment, was well versed in its flaws. "It was a house of cards. We found that everything that could go wrong did go wrong," he says.

...

The groundbreaking work that the Columbia law school has done comes at an important juncture for the death penalty in America. Connecticut last month became the fifth state in as many years to repeal the ultimate punishment and support for abolition is gathering steam.

...

Carlos DeLuna commented on his own ending in a television interview a couple of years before his execution. "Maybe one day the truth will come out," he said from behind reinforced glass. "I'm hoping it will. If I end up getting executed for this, I don't think it's right."
You can read the entire book here:

Los Tocayos Carlos

It's beyond time that the death penalty was abolished.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:09 PM   #2
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When will we learn?
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:34 PM   #3
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wait, Texas has executed innocent people?
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
A few years ago, Antonin Scalia, one of the nine justices on the US supreme court, made a bold statement. There has not been, he said, "a single case – not one – in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit. If such an event had occurred … the innocent's name would be shouted from the rooftops."
...seriously?

How deluded is this guy?

Yeah. Good job, Texas ! I'll definitely check out that book at some point.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:06 AM   #5
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as long as the death penalty exists, innocent people will be killed. it's just a fact. there's never any guarantee that every person executed was actually guilty. even people serving life in prison, there's innocent people behind bars convicted of crimes they didn't commit. a person can say they did it and then recant. sometimes it's because they want attention or who knows what, sometimes it's because they were pressured into confessing in the first place and are now desperate to prove their innocence.

being locked up for the rest of your life knowing you're innocent is bad enough, but to die is just horrific.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:16 AM   #6
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I remember many years back in school, we discussed the death sentence. It was either in German class, or "Religion". I remarked that sometimes a person gets sentenced and executed wrongly and my teacher's reply: "Yes, but that doesn't happen often."
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:24 AM   #7
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In America, our jury system pretty much sets us up for inaccurate convictions. I'm not anti-death penalty, but I have a hard time approving of it given the current condition of our justice system.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Vega View Post
I remember many years back in school, we discussed the death sentence. It was either in German class, or "Religion". I remarked that sometimes a person gets sentenced and executed wrongly and my teacher's reply: "Yes, but that doesn't happen often."
I always find responses like that strange. Even if it only happens one time, it's still one time too many, isn't it? That's a pretty big "Ooopsie!".

I understand the loved ones who've lost someone to a violent crime having anger and moments of wanting revenge. It's a human reaction, if someone had killed a person I loved, yeah, I'd probably have a "So help me, if I ever get my hands on them..." moment. There are indeed some total scumbags I'm not exactly sorry have left this earth.

But ultimately, I'm still strongly against the death penalty and always will be, and this sort of story is the biggest reason why. Hell, I watch true crime shows every so often, and within a week's time you'll be guaranteed to find at least two or three stories somewhere about someone either very narrowly avoiding execution or being sent to jail and there's still lingering questions as to whether they actually committed the crime or that sort of thing. It's just too scary and risky a situation, and I'd like to think we've advanced enough as a country to find other ways to handle such situations. If it's been proven you've committed a horrible crime, you absolutely should be punished for it. But the death penalty isn't the method I'd use to do so.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:06 AM   #9
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Wasn't there some statistic that showed that a large number of criminals walk free?
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Old 05-17-2012, 05:12 AM   #10
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it wouldn't surprise me. get the right defense lawyer (or the wrong prosecuting lawyer) and you've got yourself a guaranteed not guilty verdict.
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Old 05-17-2012, 09:03 AM   #11
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Even if we *never* killed an innocent person, the death penalty is still expensive and does not deter murder.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:58 PM   #12
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The death penalty is the worst thing in American politics and justice. That is not an opinion, that is a fact.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:44 PM   #13
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Technically our entire prison system is ridiculously expensive and ineffective, with or without the death penalty.

I can't find the other link, but essentially we have the harshest prison sentences, the highest incarceration rate, and yet our crime rate is still the highest out of the first world countries.

Statistics:
http://www.webcitation.org/5xRCN8YmR

Article on this:
http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critic...atlarge_gopnik
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:08 PM   #14
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Because we picked drugs as the battle instead of Wall Street fraud.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:58 AM   #15
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Could also have something to do with the fact that whether or not you end up in prison depends entirely on how expensive/good your lawyer is. It's a money play.
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