Support the death penalty? Then you support executing the innocent

I am vehemently, philosophically opposed to the death penalty. Even if our criminal justice system were not racist, classist, and unfair, I’d be against the death penalty. Even if we somehow had a way to ensure that we only executed people we knew were guilty, I’d be against it.

But I respect the position of people who are for the death penalty in theory, but realize that the way it is implemented calls for, at least, a moratorium on capital punishment. Today, it is impossible to support the death penalty in the United States without tacitly supporting the execution of innocent people. You can try to defend the death penalty and convince yourself that it doesn’t kill innocent people, but you would be wrong. A recently-released Columbia Law School study details how Texas killed Carlos DeLuna, when the actual Culprit was Carlos Hernandez, who shared a first name and a striking resemblance with De Luna. Texas, don’t be so hard on yourself. A simple mistake, that only resulted in the state sanctioned and funded murder of an innocent person, who, not only proclaimed his actual innocence, but pointed the police to Hernandez. But, whatever, who can keep up with all the Carloses?

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