Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Death penalty cases
This is a tough one, not because of what I believe should be done in this case, which is he should not be executed, but because I support the idea of a death penalty, which is not popular with the left wing but I don't support it when there is any doubt at all as to guilt which there clearly is with this case.
When a trial has witnesses who can profit from their testimony (for instance in this case possibly one of the ones testifying against Davis might have actually been the shooter, or with witnesses who get a soft sentence themselves for what they say), I don't think it should ever be a death penalty case. The courts often use witnesses that should not be trusted. Juries are stuck making their judgment based on what evidence they are given, not all they might want.
In this case, where Davis was there, but the question is whether he did the shooting of a police officer in a crime clearly of the moment, I would think life in prison would be the most he should have been given since that would leave a chance someday of finding out the person was innocent. Davis wasn't totally innocent as he was there; but it might be he didn't do the shooting. Should we ever, as a society, take that chance?