Wrong man executed in Texas (1989)



He was the spitting image of the killer, had the same first name and was near the scene of the crime at the fateful hour: Carlos DeLuna paid the ultimate price and was executed in place of someone else in Texas in 1989, a report out Tuesday found.

Even “all the relatives of both Carloses mistook them,” and DeLuna was sentenced to death and executed based only on eyewitness accounts despite a range of signs he was not a guilty man, said law professor James Liebman.

Thank God for DNA evidence nowadays.

I don’t necessarily morally object to the Death Penalty (and before you jump down my throat, go actually READ the Catechism on this topic) but cases like this make me see the wisdom of the Church’s teaching that if society can be protected effectively by other means, then we should not risk using it.

I would be absolutely against the Death Penalty if “Life without possibility of parole” really meant that.

Also, I believe that the murderers would have to live very spartan lives. No TV, gym, radio,etc.

Considering how corrupt and insane our justice system is, the death penalty really can’t be justified.

I’m for it on a moral, principled, and personal level, but in our current legal system defined by money and alien legalese language, no way.

Social psychologists have found that eyewitness accounts are notoriously inaccurate for a variety of reasons, yet juries and judges continue to convict based on them.

I agree; I have seen too many cases in which murderers serving three or four consecutive life sentences keep coming up for parole again and again and again.

We’re doing prison all wrong. Rather than give them weights and exercise equipment, I would forbid exercise and make 'em watch TV (just good, clean stuff) and eat Twinkies and Ding Dongs, and ice cream all day. That way, they’d be way too out of shape when they got out to do violence to anyone.

Did I miss something? What exactly “proves” that the wrong man was executed?

I literally LOL’d. That’s absolutely brilliant! :smiley:

It would also shorten those life sentences by decades.

And on the other hand, we have “Fact Suppression and the Subversion of Capital Punishment: What Death Penalty Foes on the Supreme Court and in the Media Do Not Want the Public to Know”


The more America does to improve itself, the more unbearable become its remaining shortcomings.

I do not understand why people want capital sentences, and life without parole. :confused:

I think that there is nothing fundamentally wrong in releasing a man from prison independently of the crime committed. I think that there can be something fundamentally wrong on why such a man would be released and how such a man would be treated in prison.

I believe in a much harder prison lifestyle and in the opportunity of redemption. I see that people in prison can have relatively easy lives while still loosing their dignity as individuals, that is fundamentally wrong.

With all due respect, I could not disagree more. The victim always gets forgotten. A son/husband/brother is gone (from here) forever. A person has to know that he will spend the rest of his life in minimalist surroundings before he pulls the trigger.

Subsequent investigations and and confession by the actual murderer.

Fear of punishment has never been a worthwhile deterrent to committing a murder. So many are done in the heat of passion. Even contract killers don’t weigh the possibility of being caught and convicted against carrying out the crime.

I understand what you are saying. I simply do not believe that people that are willing to kill usually care at all about the possible consequences. A lot of people really believe that they will go to hell if they die in a state of mortal sin and they still choose to sin. I see punishment as for the good of society and retribution is not always the best for society. In general I am very skeptical of absolute rules when they come from men.

But this is true of capital punishment as well.

In the long run, all the death does is prevent the criminal from being able to commit another crime.
If we could accomplish that particular feat without the bloodshed, why wouldn’t we?


Report: Texas Executed Innocent Man

Carlos DeLuna maintained his innocence from the moment he was arrested in 1983 for the stabbing death of a young Texas woman right up until he was executed six years later. On Monday, a Columbia University professor and a group of law students offered what appears to be definitive proof that DeLuna’s mistaken-identity claims were the real deal and that an innocent man was put to death.

 The [*Guardian*]("http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/15/carlos-texas-innocent-man-death?newsfeed=true")explains  how DeLuna, a 20-year-old eighth-grade dropout at the time of his  arrest, told authorities that not only was he not Wanda Lopez's killer,  but that he knew the man who was: Carlos Hernandez, a notorious criminal  who shared Deluna's first name and looked so much like him that the two  were frequently mistaken for twins. The prosecution, however,  successfully argued that they searched for this elusive Hernandez  without success, and that DeLuna had simply made him up.
 But in the spring edition of the *Columbia Human Rights Law Review*,  professor James Liebman recounts how he was able to track down  Hernandez with little effort. Four years after DeLuna was put to death,  Liebman hired a private investigator to see if he could find any  evidence of Hernandez. Within hours, the investigator found a woman who  knew Hernandez's date of birth, which proved not only Hernandez’s  existence but helped unlock his criminal record that showed he had a  record of abusing women.
 Among the many damning findings, Liebman, with the help of 12  students, discovered that Hernandez had made numerous confessions to  killing Lopez, and that forensic teams had failed to take the most basic  measures in investigating the crime scene. Meanwhile, Deluna's death  row sentence was largely based on the eyewitness account of one man,  who, as the *Guardian* reports, admitted in an interview 20 years after the crime that he's not that sure whom he saw flee the scene.

I’m sure he isn’t the only one.

I am with holding judgement on this mostly because the anti side has a record of distorting facts and out and out lies in order to get their agenda passed. Case in point Troy Davis, who was deliberately misrepresented by the left even though he had the most extensive review done in 100 years by a federal judge under the orders of the supreme court found nothing wrong with the case.

Particularly as most crimes are committed by repeat offenders.

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