Monday, September 28, 2015
Bulletin: Richard Glossip: Too much doubt! Professor Erwin Chemerinsky says in the Huffington Post that there is "too much doubt" in Richard Glossip's case and that, "No one should be executed when there is serious doubt about the person's guilt."
Countdown to Wrongful Conviction Day: Friday, October 2, 2105; 4 days. For information: http://www.aidwyc.org/wcd-2015/
"The federal district court considered Davis' claims, and ultimately found that Troy Davis could not prove a "truly persuasive determination of actual innocence," despite the emergence of new evidence that created significant doubts about his conviction. The Supreme Court did not intervene again, and Georgia executed him on September 21, 2011. The problem is that the Supreme Court has imposed too difficult a standard. Even if Troy Davis did not show a persuasive case of actual innocence, it undeniably represented a case of too much doubt. That should be enough to stop an execution.........The Supreme Court may have a chance to decide this important question very soon. Oklahoma has set a September 30 execution date for Richard Glossip. Like Troy Davis', Richard Glossip's is a case of too much doubt. A jury convicted Glossip of orchestrating the killing of Barry Van Treese, the owner of a motel where Glossip worked. The case against him is thin. Justin Sneed, another motel employee, confessed to the murder, and only implicated Glossip after the police pressured him to do so. Police also promised to not pursue a death sentence against Sneed if he testified against Glossip at trial. No physical evidence connects Glossip to the crime. At least one new witness has come forward to corroborate the allegation that Sneed acted alone. The federal courts should take the death penalty off the table when there is significant doubt about the integrity of a conviction. Allowing an execution to proceed under these conditions is sure to result in the death of some innocent defendants. This is a risk that must be avoided."
Erwin Chemerinsky is the founding Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law, and Raymond Pryke Professor of First Amendment Law, at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, with a joint appointment in Political Science.