Death Row Convictions Errors

Since 1973 there have been 167 death row inmates who were exonerated, mainly through the efforts of the ACLU and the work of the Innocence Project.  It begs the question of how many others there have been or exist who are innocent and not aggressively defended. The renewed interest is due to the case of Ledell Lee who was actually executed in Arkansas in 2017. Arkansas was about to run out of one of the drugs used to execute prisoners and executed 8 people in11 days, Ledell Lee being one. Now evidence exists and is mounting that he was innocent. In Texas, the case of Cameron Todd Willingham became famous after his 2004 execution and subsequent evidence that he had been innocent. Executing an innocent man has to be one of the ugliest truth about our criminal justice system and  the fact there can no longer be certainty that a convicted man on death row is guilty puts our criminal justice system on trial. Those who were or are innocent were convicted in a court of law where investigators, police, attorneys, juries and judges all agreed they were guilty. And further someone like Ledell Lee was failed by  appeals, pleas for clemency, or whatever means someone may have tried to help him. Since these institutions acted out in the name of the public, therefore indirectly in our name, shouldn’t we ask if we are complicit no matter how oblique or opaque that complicity may be? And if that’s so then we each must also ask ourselves, what are we going to do about it?

2 thoughts on “Death Row Convictions Errors”

  1. This is personal now as the pen pal I write to is on death row at Holman Prison in Alabama, where they are now about to execute someone who has only been there a year longer than my friend.
    He wrote me of this in his last letter, and is naturally depressed and also scared because he also reports that Holman prison is also moving out any prisoners who are not on death row. This leaves those few remaining to worry and wonder who’s next…This has has to be very stressful.
    I try to help him stay strong~ but this is another
    aspect of the death penalty which this administration has reinstated ~ it can be used as a weapon of intimidation for people on death row, aside from killing innocent humans.

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