Friday, August 10, 2007

Bob Barr in Odd Role as Criminal Rights Advocate

Former Republican Rep. Bob Barr and Clinton nemesis penned an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal -Constitution that's must read for all the folks who think capital punishment is exactly what the "worst of the worst" deserve.

Guess what?? It's not just for the most heinous murderers. Or sexual deviants. Or even eyewitnesses to murder under that crazy Texas law of parties. It's for the innocents, too.

Because of its obvious finality, the death penalty must be employed with as close to absolute fairness and certainty as humanly possible. Several recent cases, including that of Troy Davis here in Georgia, have raised legitimate questions about just that proposition. True conservatives, as much as the most bleeding heart liberals, should be unafraid to look carefully at such cases.

Garrett — provides cause for concern. Professor Garrett studied 200 cases of wrongful convictions and found that in each case, DNA evidence conclusively proved the individual's innocence and resulted in exoneration. According to Garrett, the leading cause of these wrongful convictions was erroneous identification by eyewitnesses, which occurred in an overwhelming 79 percent of the cases. Even more disturbing, in 25 percent of the cases, this faulty eyewitness testimony was the only evidence against the defendant.
Continue reading, please.

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