Haha. So I already screwed up.  I meant to squeeze in another post yesterday–a “real” post, as I said–but it was a non-stop kind of day.

I went to “The ABA Ohio Death Penalty: Report, Innocence, & E-Discovery.”  It was CLE (Continuing Legal Education) but open to the faculty, staff and students, as well.  It was very interesting.  Eye-opening in some aspects.  And over my head in others.

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A few things I jotted down during the sessions…
(I was writing as fast as I could but they were talking faster so don’t quote me on the specifics)

– Since 1973, 135 individuals across the country have been on death row and then found innocent.

– Race of the victim vs. race of the defendant–the defendant is more likely to get the death penalty if victim was white than if he/she was a minority.

– Of people executed, 78% had killed a white victim

– The book Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton, with Erin Torneo, was recommended.  Sounds very interesting.  It’s written by a woman, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, who was raped.  She then falsely identified the man who she believed was her attacker, Ronald Cotton.  Cotton was later proved innocent by DNA and the two of them were able to come together to write this memoir.  I’ve just put the book on hold at the public library but who knows when I’ll have time to read it.  If/when I do, I’ll definitely try to post a little “review” here.

– 242 people across the US have been exonerated through the Innocence Project

-There have been 8 DNA exoneration cases in Ohio so far (just since the Ohio Innocence Project was founded in 2003)

– While the majority of the states have a law requiring DNA preservation, Ohio is in the minority

– DNA is just a marker.  Some suggest that DNA should be taken (a relatively unintrusive mouth swab) as regularly as finger prints are taken–all felon arestees.

-Can potentially wrap up formerly cold cases as well as protect the innocent.

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It gave me a lot to think about.

I’ve been against the Death Penalty for as long as I’ve known how to think but looking at the actual law side of it was interesting.  One of the speakers, the former Ohio Attorney General, James Petro, said something that I think I can respect:  He basically said that he still didn’t know what he really thought about the Death Penalty–whether he was for or against it (probably the politician in him speaking)–but that he felt that society had the right to determine how to punish those who commit crimes.  He also went on to say that, in looking at the Death Penalty as it is today, something needs to change.  And I think most people can agree with that, at the very least.