Today's Montgomery Advertiser publishes the OpEd, "Death penalty should be abolished in Alabama," by Joel Sanders. Here's the beginning.
Attorney General Luther Strange has proposed that Alabama law be changed to shorten the time involved in appeals of death sentences in Alabama. It comes as no surprise that Alabama’s conservative, Republican-controlled Legislature is moving to adopt Strange’s proposal.
The length of time consumed by appeals and the anguish of victim’s families are cited as reasons for streamlining the process. I urge instead that Mr. Strange and the Legislature move toward abolishing the death penalty altogether.
Employing the death penalty for capital crimes is called into question by the work of The Innocence Project, a national organization that has been reviewing cases of possible wrongful conviction since 1989. During that time, more than 300 prisoners have been exonerated through the use of DNA analysis of original crime scene evidence. Of those exonerated, 18 had served time on death row and another 16 had been sentenced to long terms for capital crimes.
In about half the cases of exoneration, the more likely suspects or the actual perpetrators have been identified. Profoundly sad is the fact that innocent people have almost certainly been executed.
Earlier coverage from Alabama begins at the link.