Innocence

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Innocents Convicted of Murder in Oregon

Innocents Convicted of Murder in Oregon

Oregon has come perilously close to sentencing people to death for crimes they did not commit. Five people have been convicted of murder, or aggravated murder, and given sentences ranging from twenty years in prison to life without the possibility of parole. Death penalty supporters insist that the system in Oregon has made no mistakes because no death sentenced person has been exonerated. It is only through pure luck that this has not happened. Oregon does not need the death penalty – it is too risky and cannot be undone.

Judges’ Dissents for Death Row Inmates Are Rising

By JOHN SCHWARTZ -- It took just 80 words for a federal appeals court to deny Kevin Cooper’s most recent plea to avoid execution. But attached to that order was a forceful 101-page dissent by a judge, all but pleading to spare Mr. Cooper’s life. “The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man,” it began. The judge who wrote the dissent, William A. Fletcher of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, argued that the police and prosecutors had withheld and tampered with evidence in the case for decades; Judge Fletcher even accused the district court of having sabotaged the case.

Press Release: More Mistakes Found In Death Row Convictions

Within the past two weeks two more men have left a death row prison, found innocent after serving years for crimes that did not commit. These two exonerations mark #134 and #135 since 1973, and five already in the first seven months of 2009. “The five exonerations this year demonstrate that innocent people still face a significant danger of execution in this country”, said Richard Dieter, Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center.

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