Power of Story Send a Tweet        

Share on Google Plus 2 Share on Twitter 3 Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn 1 Share on PInterest Share on Fark! 1 Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (8 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   3 comments
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

California's Death Penalty: The California Supreme Court's Carefulness Con

By       Message Clifford Johnson       (Page 5 of 7 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...)  Add to My Group(s)

Valuable 3   Must Read 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 10/14/16

Author 66549
Become a Fan
  (7 fans)
- Advertisement -

[14] Note that the next lowest exoneration rate is 1.29%, for Alabama--four times California's rate. States with under 200 death sentences are less significant, but only two are arguably comparable: Nevada (1 of 151=0.66%) and Arkansas (0 of 122=0%). Perhaps surprisingly, Louisiana has one of the highest exoneration rates (10 of 166 = 6.02%), twenty times California's rate.

[15] There are (at time of writing) 462 "No Action" rows in the state's list of condemned inmates. Counting only those sentenced to death whose appeals have been decided, California's exoneration rate is 3 in 489 (951-462) = 0.61%. The exoneration rates given for other states also include significant counts of as-yet-undecided appeals. I super-conservatively estimate that excluding these cases would raise the extrinsic exoneration rate from 2.17% to only 2.44% (in California it almost doubled), to obtain my quarter estimate (0.61% vs. 2.44%). Realistically, I guess the true factor is about one fifth. To calculate the exact ratio requires deducting the as-yet-undecided appeal counts (which I do not know) from each state's death sentence totals.

- Advertisement -

[16] A Broken System: Error Rates in Capital Cases, 1973-1995 (2000), J. Liebman et al. (at i; boldface in orig.):

- Advertisement -
Capital trials produce so many mistakes that it takes three judicial inspections to catch them--leaving grave doubt whether we do catch them all. After state courts threw out 47% of death sentences due to serious flaws, a later federal review found "serious error"--error undermining the reliability of the outcome--in 40% of the remaining sentences.

[17] See Schwartzenegger Vetoes Justice, Washington Post, Nov. 5, 2007 (three simple inexpensive bills vetoed); Jerry Brown vetoes bill aimed at holding prosecutors [very, very slightly] more accountable, Washington Post, Oct. 1, 2014.

[18] See Too Broken To Fix (Part 1), by Harvard's Fair Punishment Project. Nationwide, only 16 (of 3,143) counties have issued five plus death sentences from 2010-2015. Five of them--Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernadino counties--are in south California, where there have been successive scandals involving the use of snitches to fabricate evidence. Three key features in such counties are corrupt "Overzealous Prosecutors," "Inadequate Defense," and "Racial Bias." In particular:

- Advertisement -
[I]n America, a tiny handful of prosecutors account for a wildly disproportionate number of death sentences. Indeed, just three prosecutors personally obtained a combined 131 death sentences, the equivalent of one in every 25 people on death row in America today. Those same prosecutors amassed findings of misconduct in 33 percent, 37 percent, and 46 percent of their cases, respectively. . . [Death row e]xonerations are common in jurisdictions with overly aggressive prosecutors and inadequate defenders.

To the last sentence I would add "except in California, where death row exonerations are all but non-existent."

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7


- Advertisement -

Valuable 3   Must Read 1  
View Ratings | Rate It


Clifford Johnson is a semi-academic naturalized Brit. He first entered the U.S. as a rah-rah Harkness Fellow. For theater, language, and also as a questionable ex-Brit, Johnson adopts a Tom Paine II persona. His activist credentials comprise serial (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How The One-Dollar Coin Can Cure The Economy

The American Crisis: Deficit Reduction Proposal Snags Treasury Misinformation

Ninth Circuit Leaves Door Open To Suit Against GAO Re Coins Act

Federal Court Affirms Sweeping "Bully Pulpit" Government Right to Lie: Treasury Can't Be Sued

California's Death Penalty: The California Supreme Court's Carefulness Con

The American Crisis: To Free a Lender-Owned Nation (Part IV)