New York Times
denounced capital punishment in an editorial on Monday, citing the rising number of recent death row exonerations, including cases in which the defendant was found to be innocent after being executed.
The many recent exonerations, such as that of Anthony Ray Hinton this month, have proven that the system is heavily prone to error. In light of this, an irreversible punishment should not be implemented, the editorial argues.
On average, a death row inmate has been found to be innocent and exonerated every three months in the United Stated since 1973, the article says. Four percent of current death row inmates are estimated to be innocent, according to a study referenced by the editorial.
The editorial cites advances in DNA analysis as a factor in the recent uptick of death row exonerations and notes that in many cases, prosecutorial misconduct was at play. In an unprecedented letter to the editor of the
in March, former prosecutor A.M. “Marty” Stroud apologized for his role in the wrongful conviction of Glenn Ford. In his letter, Stroud admitted that, for prosecutors, the desire to win a case often outweighs the desire to administer justice.
Read the full editorial