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Archive for Friday, August 20, 2010

Exonerated prisoner seeks end of death penalty

The organizers said mistakes land many in jail for crimes they didn't commit.

August 20, 2010

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The criminal justice system makes mistakes.

And as long as Kansas has the death penalty, those mistakes might cost a wrongfully convicted person not only his freedom, but his life.

That was the message Eddie Lowery hoped to send Thursday night at an anti-death-penalty event at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H. Lowery spent 10 years in a Kansas prison for the rape of a woman near Manhattan. After serving his time, he was exonerated through DNA evidence in 2003.

“I believe there still are innocent men and women in prison,” Lowery said. “Possibly on death row ... .”

Lowery said he wants to use his story to abolish the death penalty and work on reforms to prevent wrongful convictions.

The event was sponsored by the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri, as well as the Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP). After the showing of the documentary “No Tomorrow,” which highlighted a death penalty case, Lowery shared his story with a panel that included other anti-death-penalty advocates.

There are currently nine Kansas inmates sentenced to the death penalty, though no one has been executed in the state since 1965.

A bill in the Kansas Senate to abolish the death penalty failed by one vote in February of this year. But Shawn Bryant, an organizer for KCADP, said advocates are looking forward to future work to end the death penalty in the state.

“We’re hopeful that this next session, whoever comes into office, that they will relook at this issue,” he said.

Comments

kansanbygrace 3 years, 8 months ago

About 10 years ago, Missouri killed a man who had scientific forensic evidence to prove his innocence. The SC of that state chose to kill rather than review their process. Post mortem, the evidence was examined and sure enough...wrong guy. The AG of Missouri still defended the action, even after being proved they'd murdered an innocent man and left the criminal on the street. US is about the only "civilized" country that still meticulously premeditates and kills people as revenge for crime. And it sure has no slowdown effect on the gangs in every city, the drug wars, etc. None at all. There are, in fact, several cases where more victims were murdered just to keep from having a witness.

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deathpenaltyliberal 3 years, 8 months ago

You know how I roll.

I support the DP because if it's the choice between life in prison or DP, that person is already beyond redemption. With DNA evidence, the chance of wrongful conviction nowadays is minimal. As the trend goes towards private prisons that apparently can't keep felons inside, see Arizona, I'd rather the worst convicts be executed.

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Eybea Opiner 3 years, 8 months ago

I believe some acts are so henious that the perp forfeits his/her right to life. Therefore I support the concept of the death penalty, but would limit it to convictions supported by irrefutable evidence, such as DNA or being caught red-handed committing a capital crime.

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booyalab 3 years, 8 months ago

It's funny, two people can look at that guy's story and view it from completely different angles. I don't think about the death penalty. I think, what about the rape? Did the victim lie in a court of law? Did the rape not even happen? Did the rape happen but the rapist got off scott free?

No, our legal system isn't perfect. So we have to make trade-offs. Do we worry more about wrongfully convicting someone or preventing the crime from happening in the first place? And yes, the death penalty deters crime. In 2007, a study was published using a panel data set of over 3,000 countries between 1977 and 1996 and found that each execution saves an average of 18 lives. Even if someone is mistakenly convicted and put to death once every few decades, as much as we want to avoid that, think of all the lives that are saved by getting it right most of the time. I wouldn't push 18 people into the path of an oncoming train to have a one in a hundred chance of saving one person. That's absurd and cruel.

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OutlawJHawk 3 years, 8 months ago

The issue is getting a just conviction on the right person. Overzealous attorney prosecuters will do anything for a conviction, even convict the innocent. A federal prosecuter once said it is not about the guilt or innocence of an individual but whether he can convince a jury to convict someone. Many prosecuters are only interested in conviction rates not justice. That judgeship is waiting for them if they destroy enough peoples lives. As long as humans are involved in the justice system, there will be error.

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Mixolydian 3 years, 8 months ago

I am staunchly opposed to government executions.

On the other hand, if someone murdered one of my children or wife, I would have little problem personally putting a bullet in their head.

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consumer1 3 years, 8 months ago

sure let's let thousands of gulity go free and allow thme to murder again, because the system make one mistake out of 10,000,000 attempts. Offf with their heads quick painless and effective.

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Amy Heeter 3 years, 8 months ago

Actually Hanging is stil on the books in Kansas.

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dudleysharp 3 years, 8 months ago

Innocence

The false innocence claims by anti death penalty activists are legendary. Some examples:

"The Innocent Executed: Deception & Death Penalty Opponents" http(COLON)//homicidesurvivors.com/2009/10/08/the-innocent-executed-deception--death-penalty-opponents--draft.aspx

The 130 (now 139) death row "innocents" scam http(COLON)//homicidesurvivors.com/2009/03/04/fact-checking-issues-on-innocence-and-the-death-penalty.aspx

"A Death Penalty Red Herring: The Inanity and Hypocrisy of Perfection", Lester Jackson Ph.D., www(DOT).com/article.aspx?id=102909A

"The Exonerated: Are Any Actually Innocent?" http(COLON)//homicidesurvivors.com/2006/08/21/the-exonerated-are-any-actually-innocent---new-mexico.aspx

Sister Helen Prejean & the death penalty: A Critical Review" http(COLON)//homicidesurvivors.com/2009/05/04/sister-helen-prejean--the-death-penalty-a-critical-review.aspx

"At the Death House Door" Can Rev. Carroll Pickett be trusted?" http(COLON)//homicidesurvivors.com/2009/01/30/fact-checking-is-very-welcome.aspx

"Cameron Todd Willingham: Another Media Meltdown", A Collection of Articles http(COLON)//homicidesurvivors.com/categories/Cameron%20Todd%20Willingham.aspx

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grammaddy 3 years, 8 months ago

No one has been executed since 1965. Me thinks the State of Kansas has bigger fish to fry. I don't support the death penalty for the exact reasons mentioned in this article, but since it hasn't been used in 45 years, can we move on to something more meaningful?Like finding some money for our schools?

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