Panel Explores Death Penalty and Wrongful Convictions

A panel at Wake Forest explored the death penalty in the context of a criminal justice system that produces wrongful convictions. Panelists included Darryll Hunt, who served many years for a rape he didn't commit, and Jennifer Cannino, whose mistaken identification sent Ronald Cotton to prison for 11 years.

For a while friends convinced Cannino that she did not owe Cotton an apology. They would tell her Cotton, who had had run-ins with the law before his wrongful conviction, may have ended up with a longer and better life in prison. ...

After PBS' "Frontline" featured Cotton's story on a 1997 episode, Cannino and Cotton finally met. Cotton held no grudge against her and they became what she described as "beyond what I could actually call a friend." ... "He literally is the person who taught me on that afternoon in 1997 about forgiveness, about mercy, about grace," said Cannino.

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    Forgiveness is the key (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by plumberboy on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 08:08:07 PM EST
    I watched 60 minutes tonight and they had a young lady who was a tutsi during the Rwanda genocide.The young lady who was interviewed had a meeting with a man who had killed two of her family and four other people, which he served 10 years in prison. (for the murders).The woman said," she felt no hate or anger realizing that only made a terrible situation worse".The point is that the death penalty is only there for hate and revenge not reform.The death penalty serves no purpose in reducing crime and with all the possible flaws I personaly think it should be repealed.I am not saying people should be excused for rape and murder I just think life in prison with therapy may do society and that person more justice than killing them.

    forgiveness & life in prison (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 08:17:42 PM EST
    with therapy may do society and that person more justice than killing them.

    It's not only cheaper. It's much better for you, and for society, than carrying a corrosive load of hate and anger.


    It's the opposite of (none / 0) (#4)
    by aw on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 08:34:33 PM EST
    what the powers-that-be want:  Divide and Conquer.
    They need all that hate and anger to distract us from their own crimes and to stay in control.  It works for a lot of people.

    I'd like to see a survey (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 08:37:46 PM EST
    I'd bet that there is high correlation between anti war and anti death penalty.

    Both groups (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by aw on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 08:45:09 PM EST
    know madness when they see it.

    No sh*t (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 09:21:38 PM EST
    Forgiveness (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by atlanta lawyer on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 12:25:19 PM EST
    I have heard J. Cannino speak.  The impressive thing is that some time after meeting Ronald Cotton face to face, she came to forgive the real rapist as well. And that was after hating Ronald Cotton for years.  She said she prayed to God everyday that he would be gang raped and then murdered in prison before she learned he was the wrong guy.  For her, the forgiveness meant letting go of the constant hate and the mental energy it took to keep it going.  It didn't necessarily mean that the rapist needed to be freed, but that for her own sake, she had to let it go. (He was almost on his death bed and in prision when the CODIX hit identified him). She is often critized by victim advocates.  They somehow feel to publicize how she could be so wrong and so certain, she somehow undermines all vicitms.

    what? (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 03:34:44 PM EST
    may have ended up with a longer and better life in prison. ...

    with friends like this, who needs enemies? wow, i am stunned that someone would actually suggest this, with a straight face.

    i kind of have to wonder, how many other people have been wrongfully convicted, but are still serving time, because a witness' "friends" convinced them the person deserved to be there anyway?