Execution Deferred

By A. G. Moore
Another Death Row inmate was issued
a stay of execution: Willie Jerome Manning was granted the temporary reprieve after the Justice Department intervened on his behalf.With almost metronomic regularity we read headlines announcing that a wrongfully convicted person has been released from prison. The reasons for wrongful conviction are diverse: mistaken eye witness, overzealous prosecution, incompetent defense. Whatever the cause, the result is the same: years lost. But when life is taken, what remedy exists for wrongful conviction?Whether Mr. Manning is guilty or not, one thing is certain: the process by which he was convicted was flawed. If this were not true, the Justice Department would not have stepped into the case. And yet, Mr. Manning came within hours of being executed. So long as people can make mistakes, then trials may be flawed. And as long as this is true, if death is one of the penalties, then it is possible that the state–that is, we–may execute an innocent person. Can we, who believe our society to be just, accept that reality?New York Times :”Prisons Rethink Isolation, Saving Money, Lives and Sanity” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/us/rethinking-solitary-confinement.htmlACLU: Rethinking Solitary Confinement in Mississsippi and Beyond :http://www.aclu.org/blog/prisoners-rights/rethinking-solitary-confinement-mississippi-and-beyondNewsday: Joye Brown, Better Training Needed at Nassau Jail http://www.newsday.com/columnists/joye-brown/brown-better-training-needed-at-nassau-jail-1.3598233

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