Reasonable Death

It’s no secret that innocent people have died under the eyes of justice. For generations, it was a running joke. Now, although we want to assume that we are now assuring everyone is innocent until proven guilty, innocent felons are closing their eyes for the final time due to legal justice. And this does not include the climbing popularity of street justice.

innocent felons

The big issue is not the fact that innocent people are still dying, but that the reasons dating back decades are still the same: misinformation from people who just want the case closed. This reason alone should push for a justice revamp. Instead, we are here in 2017 reminding the world that people are still dying for no reason.

We praise lawyers for helping criminals get away with crime yet so much doubt could still get people killed.

Leo Jones

Accused of killing a police officer, Jones proclaimed his innocence until the voltage spread through his body. He declared his confession was coerced by an officer who was later proven to be the guy he was accused of. After recanting his confession and many witnesses implicating someone else, a last minute pardon was ignored.

While his innocence was never actually proven, the fact that there was so much doubt cast on his guilt, the thought of a possible innocent man after MANY people coming forward saying ‘hey, I lied’ and ‘hey, no you got the wrong guy’ still dying should send chills. Reasonable doubt is supposed to prevent jail time. Confirmation of misinformation should avert death.

Leo Jones

Like many average Americans, Frank Lee Smith’s life was cut short due an unfair battle with Cancer. It would suck to know that being wrongfully convicted of rape and murder persisted his condition. He was exonerated December, 2000 after being originally convicted in the mid-80s.

Understandably, DNA testing was not popular back then, but Smith seemed to be convicted on wonky eyewitness testimony anyway. It was stated throughout the process that the testimony didn’t always seem trustworthy, sometimes generic. Later it was recanted. Police officers admitted to lying.

A man suffered until death because people were in a hurry close a case. Other suspects who had an opportunity to commit the crime were not pursued. Terrible line-up process. But what makes it all worse is that through this long and drawn-out process, there were many chances to rectify the many errors and still, an innocent man wasted away while waiting for mistakes to be admitted.

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This alleged cop killer had an eclipse of doubt cast over his case before Troy Davis died. Though his conviction has yet to be overturned, so many holes were being poked in his case, ROR should have been recommended. Why is it so shocking to hear that maybe police might be pressuring and coercing in order to finish the job? It wouldn’t be the first time. Witnesses have started recanting their testimonies. He’s still dead.

What more needs to be done before people start saying ‘maybe we’re wrong.’

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Even after no physical evidence being linked to the murder, Brian Terrell of Georgia was murdered by lethal injection anyway. Further that, the physical evidence that they did find contradicted indicting the man. Again, witnesses recanted testimonies quoting all types of selfishness.

These cases always make me sad. Evidence of prosecution coercion was proven a few times throughout the attempts to prove Brian’s innocence. People are not asking to just let everyone go, but when did reasonable doubt become reasonable death?

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Poor Gary Graham, executed 2000 after pleading his innocence for almost 20 years. It seems with this one, trying was a bonus. He was convicted on a quick witness testimony. This was after two other witnesses contradicted the first one. After all of this came out, the people who sentenced to death had the opportunity to hypothetically change their minds…sad the man’s still dead.

Ledell Lee

Right before I was going to conclude this piece, I came across Ledell Lee, a mentally handicapped man who was recently executed for a murder that it seems like he may not have committed. In saying that, the fact that again there was so much doubt cast on the case, the man still died.

Again, not only were there contradictions to the physical evidence, including it not matching him, there was evidence of judge and lawyer affairs and witness contradictions. His defense team didn’t even seem to care. Someone who is facing death, should not have to beg for DNA testing, especially since DNA has exonerated so many people. If the death penalty is only to prevent felons from committing crimes again, I think we should be all for clearing people!

I want to wrap this up with the familiar story of Emmett Till, the young man who was murdered for a lie. His murderers, who were heard bragging about what they committed were eventually acquitted. Just recently, the woman who started the chain of events admitted to her lie. Something people already knew to be true had finally been proven.

Although it is not surprising that cases like Emmett Till were just thrown away back then, it’s hard not to think about when we have:

street justiceII

Even if they make it pass street justice, many people wait for other people’s bad decisions to put them to death.

I’ve been binging on Unsolved Mysteries lately and am upset that many of the cases have not been solved. I’m even more upset that many of the terrible cases that were solved, have felons who are today released.

But we still have this issue…

Sources:

Death Penalty Information

Frontline

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