Soft on crime turns out to be smart on crime
USA Today - 02/18/2016
A new report from the University of Michigan’sNational Registry of Exonerations has proclaimed 2015 as a banner year for achieving justice in America. A total of 149 prisoners — including 58 convicted of homicide and five on death row — were released from custody based on exculpatory evidence or the recognition that the Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial had been violated. Apparently, they were the victims of a system more interested in arrest, prosecution and incarceration than in justice.
The shame of wrongful conviction has captured the public’s imagination. A ten-part Netflix documentary focusing on the plight of one Steven Avery from an allegedly overzealous prosecution quickly went viral. What’s more, the issue of innocence made its way into the Feb. 4 New Hampshire Democratic presidential debate when Sen. Bernie Sanders argued for abolition of the death penalty based on his firm belief that “too many innocent people, including minorities, African Americans, have been executed when they were not guilty.”