PolySciFi Blog

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Human Fallibility

You've probably seen this by now, but here's Lise Olsen's Houston Chronicle piece about Ruben Cantu's 1993 execution for a crime he didn't commit. Cantu was 17 at the time he allegedly commited this crime; he was sentenced to death on the testimony of a single eyewitness, who identified Cantu only on the third try, possibly under police pressure. Now the eyewitness admits Cantu wasn't there. Too bad the state executed him twelve years ago.

I don't deny that some crimes are heinous enough to warrant execution. I just think that there will inevitably be mistakes made by our criminal justice system. Allowing executions inevitably means that people like Ruben Cantu will be killed, and I can't accept that. Even if capital punishment were a wonderful deterrent, even if it were colorblind, even if court-appointed attorneys were uniformly brilliant, one innocent death is one too many.


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