A Wise Delay
Governor Ryan?s decision to suspend the death penalty is already starting to have a valuable impact on the rest of nation. Other states are starting to aid in Governor Ryan?s quest to improve death penalty systems. Last week, a representative from the state of Wisconsin, requested that President Clinton put a hold on executions until the federal death penalty system can be reviewed. Clinton is an avid supporter of the death penalty and only promised to consider it.
Since 1973, eighty-five people have been released from death row in the federal system because of mis-verdicts. Twenty-one federal inmates still remain on death row. Juan Raoul Garza is one of these death row inmates. Despite the governments past mistakes, he is scheduled to be executed this year.
President Clinton should think long and hard before reopening the federal death chamber. Because the federal justice system dose not do its job correctly, many innocent people may have or will die on death row. According to the article, A Federal Execution Moratorium-misconduct, unbelievably erroneous evidence and false testimony by jailhouse informants can and has lead to mistaken verdicts.
Rolando Cruz is an excellent example of a terrible mistake made by the federal government. He was convicted of the 1983 rape and murder of ten-year-old Jeanine Nicarico, and put on death row. His freedom was suspended to him even after Brian Dugan came forth to admit his sole involvment in the murder. Cruz remained on death row while prosecutors try to prove Dugan was lying! DNA testing proved that Cruz was not the source of semen samples taken from Nicarico’s body; however, Dugan was a perfect match. Cruz remained on death row. November 4, 1995, 12 years after his original arrest, Cruz was released. Not only did Cruz loose twelve prime years of his life; He almost lost his whole life.
Judge Ronald Mehling said he released Cruz because the initial murder investigation was ?sloppy, very sloppy?, and the government’s case against Cruz was riddled with lies and mistakes.
It is suggested in the article that a wise approach to this problem would be to appoint a commission to study the federal death penalty system. I am in agreement that Clinton must suspend the death penalty until the bugs in this system are totally irradiated.