Sunday, July 19, 2009

Five Exonerations So Far in 2009 Demonstrate Risks of Death Penalty

The risk that innocent people could be executed remains high, as illustrated by the two most recent exonerations from death row. Ronald Kitchen was freed from prison Illinois after the state dismissed all charges against him on July 7. He had spent 13 years on death row and a total of 21 years in prison. Governor George Ryan had commuted his sentence to life in 2003, along with all other death row inmates. Kitchen's original conviction was derived largely from a coerced confession, having been subjected to a torturous interrogation under the supervision of the notorious police Commander Jon Burge. Herman Lindsey was freed from Florida's death row on July 9 after the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled for his acquittal. The court noted: "[T]he State failed to produce any evidence in this case placing Lindsey at the scene of the crime at the time of the murder. . . .Indeed, we find that the evidence here is equally consistent with a reasonable hypothesis of innocence." Lindsey was convicted in 2006, clearly indicating that wrongful convictions continue to occur in capital cases.

READ MORE on this and latest "scoop" at Death Penalty Information Center (Find this and key other links lower right - need to give them a few moments to appear.)

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