Speaking in Columbus, Ohio, yesterday as Raymond Towler
in Cleveland, departing U.S. Supreme Court Justice said DNA exonerations from death row have underlined the risk of executing an innocent person and make a strong argument against the death penalty.
“The risk of an incorrect decision has increased,” (Stevens) told an audience of hundreds of lawyers and judges at a judicial conference here, responding to a question about his 2008 assertion that the death penalty should be abolished. He said that because of advances in DNA testing, which have led to the freeing of some innocent convicts, “we’re more aware of the risk than we might have been before.”
Read more about Stevens’ speech
. (USA Today, 05/06/10) Seventeen of the 254 people exonerated through DNA testing in the U.S. were originally sentenced to die. The Innocence Project supports a moratorium on capital punishment while the causes of wrongful convictions are fully identified and remedied. Read more about
our view on the death penalty
, and examine the cases of the
17 death row DNA exonerees