Death penalty study provides support for abolition

A new study has found that between 2.8% and 5.2% of defendants sentenced to death in the United States were likely innocent. The University of Michigan Law School designed the study, and had the numbers crunched by medical researchers trained in population statistics analysis. Law professor Samuel Gross said, “Since 1973, nearly 8,500 defendants have been sentenced to death in the United States, and 138 of them have been exonerated. Our study means that more than 200 additional innocent defendants have been sentenced to death in that period.”  Last week, The Economist reported that although “America is unusual among rich countries in that it still executes people”, the trend was towards fewer executions and more states abolishing the death penalty. It concluded, “It may be a long wait, but the death penalty’s days are surely numbered.”

Leave a Reply