Monday, November 21, 2005

One hundred and eighteen out of 997 executed were exonerated

This past weekened, the Houston Chronicle reported on the case of Ruben Cantu, a poor 17-year old with no prior record who was executed in Texas in 1991.

With nary physicial evidence and a questionable plea agreement from the alleged co-defendant, a 15-year old trying to avoid the hangman's noose himself, Cantu was fingered as the killer, and a San Antonio jury found him guilty and sentenced him to death.

Since then, Juan Moreno, his partner, recanted and said, "Cantu 'was innocent. It was a case of an innocent person being killed."

The Chronicle writes,

"Second thoughts presented with [such] statemen[t], as well as information from hundreds of pages of court and police documents gathered by the Chronicle that cast doubt on the case, key players in Cantu's death —including the judge, prosecutor, head juror and defense attorney — now acknowledge that his conviction seems to have been built on omissions and lies. "
The woeful tale is further chronicled in the paper. But suffice it to say, if out of 997 executed, 118 death row inmates have been exonerated, a little over 1 out of 10, the system is broken. And the Cantu case is just the tip of the iceberg.

The hang-them-first-and-ask-no-questions-later fun crowd wants to keep their gas chamber tanks filled to the brim with death row machines rolling!

Well, this article should give friend of state death squads pause; and DNA from Roger Coleman in Virginia, which hopefully will prove without a shadow of a doubt that innocents have been executed, should give an even stronger voice to opponents of this ultimate injustice.

Let us put a noble end to capital punishment and stop executing people who may or may not be guilty.

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