Friday, May 29, 2009

Death Row Investigators

This idea is not my own--it belongs to a buddy of mine--but he's not online, so even my tiny audience would not get to see it.

Every time a jury decides that the death penalty is appropriate, that case should be assigned to a special investigative team. That team has a time limit, for example, five years, to find disconfirming evidence. That team of investigators will spend five years doing nothing but working their cases trying to raise doubts about the guilt of the convicted men. If, at the end of the review period, they cannot raise reasonable doubt, the sentence is immediately carried out. There is no endless period on death row as appeal after appeal is put forth. If doubt is raised, at the end of five years they're taken off of death row and put into general population (or, depending what is found, even exonerated).

The team would have a mix of specialties, such as legal, law enforcement, forensics, and whatever else is appropriate.

The major benefit of this approach is that (a) we will execute fewer innocent people, (b) we will no longer delay justice on death row, and (c) the death penalty will be used when appropriate.

I don't think this position would be hard to fill either. People would go to school just to get the job as a death row investigator.

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