The death penalty makes me nervous. It makes me nervous because there is always a chance the wrong person is being executed. For example, after reading the Devil’s Knot, I still think the West Memphis 3 are guilty, but I’m not so sure that I would be for execution – as there will always be an uncomfortable lingering doubt in that case.

Maryland has a great proposal. Before a prosecutor can seek the death penalty – there must be DNA or biological evidence, a video tape of the crime, or a video tape of the confession. Something more than a shakey confession under hi-pressure seems only fair. Why not video tape confessions – it would protect the defendant as well as the police from allegations of unfair tactics. We know that even eye-witness testimony is unreliable – it seems fair to have a higher standard before we use the highest penalty.



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