Tea Party Nation leader Judson Phillips is angry at the execution of Troy Davis. Not because we may well have put an innocent man to death but because it took so long to do it:
Troy Davis was on death row for twenty years. He was given a trial by a jury of his peers and then had countless opportunities to relitigate his death penalty.
The justice system was not broken.
On second thought, may be it was. For twenty years, he sat on death row while Mark McPhail’s family had to endure all of the appeals. Perhaps the question we should be asking is why does it take twenty years and an untold amount of taxpayer money for justice to be delivered?
Once again I find it interesting that the Tea Party types think the government screws up everything — except putting people — especially dark-skinned people — in prison or killing them, whether here or abroad. It’s inconceivable to them that the justice system could ever convict an innocent man even though we know incontrovertibly that innocent people are convicted all the time.
Study after study shows that eyewitness testimony is the least reliable form of evidence, but this is what most convictions are based on. No, that doesn’t mean you rule out eyewitness evidence, but it does mean you put safeguards in place to minimize the subjective nature of such evidence. We know exactly how to do that, the recommendations have been out there for years and they are based on sound scientific research.
More than 250 people have been freed from prison based on DNA evidence, which is available in less than 2% of all violent crimes. Those men were convicted on the basis of the same kind of non-DNA evidence that convicts hundreds of thousands of others every year. That means there are untold numbers of innocent people in prison right now. And those anti-government conservatives can’t think of a single reason for reform in this area.
They’re only anti-government when it affects their pocketbooks; when it dooms innocent people to death, here and in other countries, they couldn’t care less. In those cases, the government is unquestionable.
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