Although there are several groups that oppose the death penalty, one of them has more reasons for doing so than any other. That group is called Witness to Innocence, and it is comprised solely of individuals who have been exonerated from death row in the United States.
In all, there are more than 140 exonerees throughout the country, 50 of which have joined the group. Based in Philadelphia, PA, its members are from several states including Nebraska, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana. Some of these individuals spent more than 20 years on death row before being released.
This organization has released some startling numbers concerning the death penalty. They claim that one innocent person has been exonerated for every nine prisoners executed since 1976. The question raised by Witness to Innocence is “how many more have already gone to their deaths?”
False convictions in death penalty cases occur for a number of reasons, and the most common include prosecutorial misconduct, substandard legal representation, faulty forensic evidence, erroneous evidence, false confessions, eyewitness error, racial prejudice and junk science. Exonerations do not always happen as a result of newly-discovered evidence or DNA testing. Instead, it happens through investigative work performed by journalists and attorneys in helping to uncover the truth.
Nevada currently has over 80 people on death row. If one of them are innocent, this is why attorneys fight for their rights.
The statistics offered by Witness to Innocence are startling indeed. Those who would like to know more about this group can visit their website.