As part of an initiative to abolish capital punishment completely, the influential human rights group has highlighted the unintended consequences of imposing the death penalty by focusing on a handful of prisoners who were eventually presumed innocent after they were executed. Since 1973, 142 death row inmates have been exonerated of the crimes for which they were sentenced to die, the Death Penalty Information Center reports. Some of those people spent decades in prison before their innocence was proven.
The Last Meals Of Innocent Men
An emotional new ad campaign from Amnesty International asks its viewers to stomach a hard truth — images of the last meals of wrongly executed American prisoners.
Meal 1: Ruben Cantu (Texas) was charged with capital murder at 17 years old for shooting a man during a robbery. The one witness to this crime admitted later on that he was pressured by police to identify Cantu as the criminal. He told the police twice that Cantu was not the shooter. However, Cantu was still executed in 1993.
Meal 2: Leo Jones (Florida) was charged with the murder of a police officer in Florida. Although he said that said he was coerced into confession after hours of interrogation. The police officer and the detective involved in his case, were forced out of uniform for ethical violations a few years after his’ conviction.
Jones was executed in 1998.
Meal 3: Claude Howard Jones (Texas) was sentenced to death in 1989 for shooting and killing Texas liquor store owner. However, the recent DNA tests on the strand of hair that was used as the only physical evidence against him was proved not to belong to him.
“Knowing that these DNA results support his innocence means so much to me, my son in the military and the rest of my family. I hope these results will serve as a wake-up call to everyone that serious problems exist in the criminal justice system that must be fixed if our society is to continue using the death penalty,” - Jones’ son, Duane Jones
Jones was executed in 2000.
Meal 4: David Spence (Texas) was charged and sentenced to execution for the murder of three Texas teenagers. There was no physical evidence against him and both the homicide detective and police lieutenant that were on his case did not believe Spence to be the criminal. The prosecution solely relied on the testimony of other prison inmates in their case against Spence,
He was executed in 1997.
Meal 5: Cameron Willingham (Texas) was convicted of murdering his three children in a 1991 house fire . Four national arson experts have concluded that the original investigation in the case was flawed, while an independent investigation into the case concluded that the prosecution centered its argument on arson theories that have since been repudiated by scientific studies.
Willingham was executed in Texas in 2004
I remember how many notes the last meals of the guilty men got because it’s interesting to look at that but apparently hardly anyone cares when the men are actually innocent. End capital punishment.
Every single word of this. If half the effort and finances put into fighting abortion were directed at women’s health or anything on the list above, we’d be in much better shape as a society. ~ Kim
Pro-Life or Anti-Sex:
It seems to me that most Pro-Life people I know really aren’t Pro-Life at all. They are, rather, Anti-Sex. That is, the abortion debate is often just a cover to wage war on the sexual revolution and the Dawn of the Pill. What many Pro-Life people are angry about is the casual sexuality of our age, an era of “abortion on demand.” Pro-Life advocacy, then, is often (consciously or unconsciously) really a way to get sexually promiscuous people to face the “consequences” of sexual activity. The focus on life is often cover for Puritanical worries about sexuality in modern America.
Why do I draw this conclusion? Because most Pro-Life people I know are only Pro-Life in this one area, and only in this one area. They are not, generally speaking, consistently Pro-Life. For example, most Pro-Life people are…
…not Pro-Life when it comes to gun control.
…not Pro-Life when it comes to preemptive war.
…not Pro-Life when it comes to capital punishment.
…not Pro-Life when it comes to global malnourishment.
…not Pro-Life when it comes to universal health care.
…not Pro-Life when it comes to entitlement programs for the women and children of the working poor (to remove the economic incentives for abortion).
…not Pro-Life in promoting condom usage to prevent teenage pregnancy or AIDS in developing nations.
In short, the only thing many conservatives are Pro-Life about is, well, abortion. Which, incidentally, is the only thing on the list that’s about regulating sexual behavior.
Which kind of makes you wonder…"
It’s super-important this issue doesn’t get forgotten.