Re: [MEDIA] Chicago Suntime's death penalty poll

Michael Lorrey (
Thu, 17 Dec 1998 12:30:58 -0500

Josh Glasstetter wrote:

> I just recently read a stat in newsweek stating something to the effect
> that of all the people who have ever been on death row, 1 out of every 8
> has been exonerated and removed from death row, some only hours before
> their proposed execution. from the standpoint of society at large, what
> good does executing people do, especially when running the risk of killing
> innocent people?

Actually, they have not been exonerated. They have been granted new trials or granted clemency or pardoned. That is a far cry from exonerated. Usually the only reason they were granted new trials was because of a technicality, not that they didn't do it. If they are granted a new trial, but the evidence against them is so old as to be useless, especially if key witnesses are dead, it can be hard to reconvict someone who may really be guilty, so many times the prosecutors decide to not go for a new trial, so the killers just get off.

Ususally this happens if the crook has served more than the average sentence already for the crime by the time he or she is granted a new trial, so the prosecutor figures that if they can't reconvict them its not a big deal since he or she has served that amount of time anyways. Though this doesn't happen often during election season.

Mike Lorrey