Why the Death Penalty is Evil

Why the Death Penalty is Evil

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Old Rape DNAThe Associated Press reports that 54 year old James Bain was freed today after spending the last 35 years of his life in prison for a crime he did not commit:

Attorneys from the Innocence Project of Florida got involved in Bain’s case earlier this year after he had filed several previous petitions asking for DNA testing, all of which were thrown out.

A judge finally ordered the tests and the results from a respected private lab in Cincinnati came in last week, setting the wheels in motion for Thursday’s hearing. The Innocence Project had called for Bain’s release by Christmas.

And listen to the stalwart evidence this poor man was convicted on:

[Bain] was convicted largely on the strength of the victim’s eyewitness identification, though testing available at the time did not definitively link him to the crime. The boy said his attacker had bushy sideburns and a mustache. The boy’s uncle, a former assistant principal at a high school, said it sounded like Bain, a former student. The boy picked Bain out of a photo lineup, although there are lingering questions about whether detectives steered him.

This is the 247th wrongful conviction overturned by DNA evidence since the Innocence Project began:

Bain spent more time in prison than any of the 246 inmates previously exonerated by DNA evidence nationwide, according to the project. The longest-serving before him was James Lee Woodard of Dallas, who was released last year after spending more than 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.

A single wrongful conviction is enough to require the extermination of the death penalty, but 247 of them makes it downright criminal to continue its use? And that number includes only the wrongful convictions for which DNA evidence exists to be tested. The true number of condemned innocents is, therefore, some multiple of 247.

Faced with such powerful evidence of the imperfection of our judicial system how can any human being with a conscience continue to support the death penalty?

About Peter Pappas

Peter is a tax attorney and certified public acccountant with over 20 years experience helping taxpayers resolve their IRS and state tax problems.

He has represented thousands of taxpayers who have been experiencing difficulty dealing with the Internal Revenue Service or State tax officials.

He is a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Bar Association and The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court, the United States Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts - Middle District of Florida


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