Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Monday, December 16, 2002  

Today's Trinidad Express carries an Associated Press story on the fall in the number of prisoners on death row in the US:

"The death row population fell from 3,601 in 2000 to 3,581 in 2001, the first year-to year decrease in 25 years. Last year's total of 155 was the lowest number sentenced to die and put on death row since 1973. It was the third-straight year of declines."

Before the death penalty supporters out there jump to the conclusion that the supposed deterrent effect of the death penalty is working, consider:

"Death penalty experts say juries and prosecutors appear to be exercising greater care in using the death penalty, particularly considering recent cases in which DNA evidence has proved that people were wrongly convicted."

What does this say about us here in T&T and our antediluvian criminal justice system? We are still years away from implementing DNA technology in criminal investigations, far less having such technology admissible in criminal cases. How many wrongly convicted murderers are on death row because of inefficient forensic investigations?

posted by Jonathan | 9:36 AM 0 comments


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