By Rep. Bill Deeken

For the past several years I have sponsored legislation that would impose a moratorium on executions in Missouri while a commission does a complete study of the death penalty system in our state. This may seem a strange action for a person who, in principle, supports the death penalty. But I believe that this legislation is absolutely necessary in Missouri.

Since 1989, Missouri has executed 66 people, the fourth most of any state. Legislation returning the death penalty to Missouri law was enacted over 30 years ago. Since then, Missouri has not had a comprehensive official review of the state’s death penalty system. With a punishment as final as death—it’s long past time state officials take a pause to thoroughly examine our system of taking a life.

A death penalty moratorium is important because there is a fear that an innocent person could be executed. While there is much to be proud of in our criminal justice system, it is still a human system. Mistakes can and have been made when it comes to the death penalty. Nationally, 129 people who were convicted and sentenced to death since 1973 have been exonerated. This includes three men in Missouri—Clarence Dexter, Eric Clemmons and Joe Amrine—who had their death sentences removed when evidence of their innocence came to light.


dudleysharp said...

ep. Deeken:

Learn to fact check. It's total ul that 129 innocent shave een released from death row.

The number MIGHT be as high as 25.

Start fact checking, here.

Re: fact checking issues, on innocence and the death penalty.

It is very important to take note that the 130 exonerated from death row is a blatant scam, easily uncovered by fact checking.

The Death Penalty Information Center has been responsible for some of the most serious deceptions by the anti death penalty side, includsive of this 130 exonerated and innocence scam.

Dieter and DPIC have produced the claims regarding the exonerated and innocents released from death row list. The scam is that DPIC just decided to redefine what exonerated and innocence mean according to their own perverse definitions.

Richard Dieter, head of the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC): defining what "exonerated" or "innocent" means.

". . . (DPIC) makes no distinction between legal and factual innocence. " 'They're innocent in the eyes of the law,' Dieter says. 'That's the only objective standard we have.' "

That is untrue, of course. We are all aware of the differences between legal guilt and actual guilt and legal innocence (not guilty) and actual innocence, just as the courts are.

Furthermore, there is no finding of actual innocence, but it is "not guilty". Dieter knows that we are all speaking of actual innocence, those cases that have no connection to the murder(s). He takes advantage of that by redefining exonerated and innocence.

Dieter "clarifies" the three ways that former death row inmates get onto their "exonerated" by "innocence" list.

"A defendant whose conviction is overturned by a judge must be further exonerated in one of three ways: he must be acquitted at a new trial, or the prosecutor must drop the charges against him, or a governor must grant an absolute pardon."

None establishes actual innocence.

DPIC has " . . . included supposedly innocent defendants who were still culpable as accomplices to the actual triggerman."

DPIC: "There may be guilty persons among the innocents, but that includes all of us."

Good grief. DPIC wishes to apply collective guilt of capital murder to all of us.

Dieter states: "I don't think anybody can know about a person's absolute innocence." (Green). Dieter said he could not pinpoint how many are "actually innocent" -- only the defendants themselves truly know that, he said." (Erickson)

Or Dieter won't assert actual innocence in 1, 102 or 350 cases. He doesn't want to clarify a real number with proof of actual innocence, that would blow his entire deception.

Or, Dieter declare all innocent: "If you are not proven guilty in a court of law, you're innocent." (Green)

Dieter would call Hitler and Stalin innocent. Those are his "standards".

And that is the credibility of the DPIC.

For fact checking.

1. "Case Histories: A Review of 24 Individuals Released from Death Row", Florida Commission on Capital Cases, 6/20/02, Revised 9/10/02 at http://www.floridacapitalcases.state.fl.us/Publications/innocentsproject.pdf

83% error rate in "innocent" claims.

2. "Is 'the innocence list' an appropriate name?", 1/19/03

Dieter admits they don't discern between legal innocence and actual innocence. One of Dieter's funnier quotes;"The prosecutor, perhaps, or Dudley Sharp, perhaps, thinks they're still guilty because there was evidence of their guilt, but that's a subjective judgment." Yep, "EVIDENCE OF GUILT", can't you see why Dieter would think they were innocent? And that's how the DPIC works.

3. The Death of Innocents: A Reasonable Doubt,
New York Times Book Review, p 29, 1/23/05, Adam Liptak,
national legal correspondent for The NY Times

"To be sure, 30 or 40 categorically innocent people have been released from death row . . . ".

That is out of the DPIC claimed 119 "exonerated", at that time, for a 75% error rate.

NOTE: It's hard to understand how an absolute can have a differential of 33%. I suggest the "to be sure" is, now, closer to 25.

4. CRITIQUE OF DPIC LIST ("INNOCENCE:FREED FROM DEATH ROW"), Ward Campbell, http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/DPIC.htm

5. "The Death Penalty Debate in Illinois", JJKinsella,6/2000, http://www.dcba.org/brief/junissue/2000/art010600.htm


Origins of "innocence" fraud, and review of many innocence issues

7. "Bad List", Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, 9/16/02

How bad is DPIC?

8. "Not so Innocent", By Ramesh Ponnuru,National Review, 10/1/02

DPIC from bad to worse.

Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
e-mail sharpjfa@aol.com, 713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas

Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.