Monday, December 29, 2008

Media Watch: Dallas Morning News Changes Its 100 Yr. Stance on Death Penalty

Today, the Dallas Morning News changed its position on the death penalty, and after 100 years the newspaper no longer supports capital punishment. Wow.

The entirety of the editorial is worth the read, but here are some excerpts in case you don't have the time:

"The year draws to a close with Texas in its familiar No. 1 place nationally in capital punishment statistics (18 of the nation's 37 executions in 2008). It has also been a year rich with examples of why this state should stop its error-prone machinery of death. ...

"For a change, discussion about flawed justice need not start in Dallas County, the nation's ground zero for DNA exonerations. Just to the north, Collin County illustrates how even a highly educated, affluent community can get it wildly wrong in the high-stakes gamble called capital punishment. ...

"There is no quick or neat fix for breakdowns in justice that range from poor technology to dishonesty among officers of the court. Dozens of DNA exonerations across the state – including the nation-leading 19 in Dallas County – have demonstrated how unreliable eyewitness testimony can be. Further, statistics indicate a disturbing arbitrariness of capital punishment, varying greatly by county. Data also show that a killer is far likelier to die for killing a white person. ...

"It's the view of this newspaper that the justice system will never be foolproof and, therefore, use of the death penalty is never justified. ...."

Read the full editorial here:

Editorial: Death penalty moratorium needed

For some earlier posts on issues addressed in this editorial, see:

Crime News: Bernie Madoff Scandal Kills DNA Testing for Wrongfully Convicted

Judge Watch: Secret Love Affair Between Trial Judge and DA Stops Execution?

Crime News: Will DNA Tests Free Johnnie Lindsey on Friday?

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