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Lessons that must be learned

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009

* The Sun-Times looks back on the Brian Dugan case, including the indictment of innocent men

The original, flawed indictment in the case came just days before the 1984 GOP primary for DuPage County state’s attorney, a decision that underscores the perils of allowing politics to taint prosecutions.

From then on, the case got only worse, putting on display what can happen when police officers and prosecutors cannot admit mistakes, cannot confess that they arrested the wrong men.

Tribune

Dugan is serving two life sentences for “unrelated” rapes and homicides. Tuesday’s admission, however, ties these three particularly brutal cases tightly together: Brian Dugan, who murdered 27-year-old Donna Schnorr of Geneva in 1984 and 7-year-old Melissa Ackerman of Somonauk in 1985, now admits to a judge in Wheaton that he abducted and murdered Jeanine Nicarico in 1983.

We could fill this page with the saga of the Nicarico case and all of its twists and turns through the criminal justice system. A case in which two men were wrongfully convicted and put on Death Row. A case that had a profound impact on this page’s decision in 2007 to abandon its support for capital punishment.

The Daily Herald has long been an open booster of the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office, regularly assigning cheerleaders instead of reporters to cover the beat. The paper has been silent on its editorial page so far this week.

* During debates over the death penalty, many will insist that the ultimate punishment should be set aside for the worst offenders. Kidnapping, raping and murdering a little girl would undoubtedly fall into anyone’s category of the worst of the worst. What the Nicarico case showed Illinois, however, is that the system is human-operated and is therefore far from perfect. Sometimes, it can be brutally wrong.

* This case should also be a lesson for journalism. A Daily Herald timeline of the Dugan case fails to point out the impact made by the early, false, screaming headlines about the wrongly arrested men, for instance.

Prosecutors are too often treated by the media as though their every word comes from the mouth of God. Humans are humans. We make mistakes. Sometimes we refuse to admit mistakes. So, flawed humans cannot ever be given the complete benefit of the doubt.

* The same goes for the police. I’m a big supporter of society’s frontline protectors, and firmly believe that they should be given the benefit of the doubt in most situations. We need their service…

According to CPD, in 2005, there were 1,705 cases of aggravated battery with a gun, the vast majority being shootings.

By 2008, the number shot up to 2003, a 17.5 percent jump.

In the first 6 months of 2009, there has been a 6.3 percent increase over last year.

But they are humans, too. They’re not always in the right, and they are citizens like the rest of us. So, they should never escape accountability, as the DuPage establishment eventually learned the hard way.

To always treat prosecutors and police as infallible undermines the very fabric of a democratic society. If we learn nothing else from the Dugan case, it should be that.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

50 Comments
  1. - Objective Dem - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 9:37 am:

    Don’t forget this wasn’t simply about the prosecutors making innocent mistakes. The prosecutors behavior was so bad they were charged with crimes. While they got off, I still think their behavior warranted conviction.


  2. - L.S. - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 9:40 am:

    Well said, Rich


  3. - Vote Quimby! - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 9:42 am:

    Bash ‘em good, Rich… this happens not only in DuPage but most smaller/mid-size newspapers also. Editors want to get the inside scoop, so they let slide some things they shouldn’t. “Cheerleaders” couldn’t be more a more accurate statement!


  4. - just sayin - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 9:46 am:

    Joe Birkett needs to recognize the obvious. He would be a drag on any statewide GOP ticket, again.

    Birkett’s got dirty hands on the Nicarico travesty and that shame will never go away. Shame to the Republicans if they think otherwise.


  5. - Yellow Dog - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 9:46 am:

    Implicit in the Tribune editorial is this sad fact:

    if, IF, the system had worked in 1983 and 1984, and instead of framing an innocent man, police and prosecutors had kept the investigation open, Dugan’s subsequent victims might still be here with us today.


  6. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 9:47 am:

    and of course,BrickHead ‘I Was Not Involved, but I did Visit Witness Homes With Prepared Texts’ Joe” will be back on the ballot in ‘10.
    Now that Brick has totally failed to convict the right guy — a guilty plea does not count. Can voters, even those in Herald City, sober up and toss the guy?


  7. - Niles Township - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 9:48 am:

    My issue with Birkett is he seems way to vigourous in his prosecution. Those arrested are automatically guilty in his eyes, and that just is not the way the system works. You don’t need much evidence of a crime to be arrested, but you do to be convicted. I am convinced that while Birkett understands that as a legal matter, he just doesn’t “get it.”


  8. - Hank - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 9:49 am:

    Yes, great post Rich
    It sums up why I feel the need to shower after seeing or hearing Birkett
    Lets not forget a certain cook county attorney who also made political hay out of a horrific child murder and went on to become mayor of a large midwest city


  9. - MOON - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 9:55 am:

    HANK

    Please refresh my memory. What mayor and what case are you talking about.

    Thanks.


  10. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 9:56 am:

    Naturally when children are murdered, everyone gets emotional. Our young police officers see their children in every victim and these crimes break hearts. The same happens when journalists cover these murders.

    The murder of a child sickens us. As adults we have a biological need to spare them from harm. When a child is mistreated, tempers flare among strangers. This is the way it should be.

    It is easier to avoid these natural feelings if you are not bombarded by television, newspapers and radio continually reporting on the crime. It is easier for us to look back 27 years and discover where emotions over-ruled legal procedures and laws. It is easier to look upon Dugan’s crimes after your children have grown up and you feel they can be protected from Dugans.

    I would suggest that we create a law enforcement agency that does not live within a community where a child murder occurred. Instead of relying on the local neighborhood police in these cases, we should recognize their emotional ties to the victim, and remove them from these cases. This will allow a different group of law emforcement officers with fewer emotional ties to investigate and pursue arrests.

    And we simply cannot allow any government to end a human life. Governments should not be empowered to do so. It is the ultimate in denying a citizen’s freedoms. While I agree that anyone who commits a child’s murder is deserving of the death sentence, we cannot risk killing an innocent person, regardless of our certitude.


  11. - Obamarama - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 10:02 am:

    ===Can voters, even those in Herald City, sober up and toss the guy?===

    Between him raising his profile in failed statewide bids (and somehow endearing himself further to the local GOP in the process) and our utter inability to run a real candidate against him–probably not.


  12. - Abe's Ghost - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 10:12 am:

    The Cruz and Hernandez cases are classic examples of two prosecutorial and police pitfalls: tunnel vision (once we get a suspect we make the evidence fit our suspect, not follow the evidence where it leads) and never admitting error or mistakes (examine exonerations–rarely do the authorities ever re-open an investigation or find the true perp, it’s usually a third party who does so if anyone does). When the settlements to the civil suits were voted by the Dupage County Board, Birkett’s position was that he still thought they were guilty, but supported the settlement cuz it was insurance money and reduced litigation expenses, not because they were actually innocent.


  13. - train111 - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 10:15 am:

    I don’t question Birkett. He took what he was handed and ran with it. In most professional fields, people do not question their peers’ or superiors’ decisions regardless of how they personally feel. Ask a doctor or an attorney. They may personally feel that their peer is a total doofuss and couldn’t do their job even if someone took them by the hand and led them, but in a professional setting they would be unwilling to question their peer’s decison making.
    Birkett was handed a pile of garbage and responded in the way most professionals would–he took it and tried to make lemons out of lemonade. Unfortunately, the case was so bad and so torn apart by this time that he might as well been trying to convince us the earth was flat.
    Birkett should have questioned what he was handed, but unfortunatley he put ‘professional protocol’ above any gut feelings or questions. Do we want that in a political leader? That’s for the voters to decide.
    I feel that he gets piled on much more than he deserves on this and other political blogs however. (I’ve never personally voted for the guy, so no, I’m not shilling for him either)
    This case shows some very fundamental flaws in the system used to prosecute crimes in our society. This isn’t Burge beating confessions out of people either. This was law and order DuPage where ‘corruption’ in prosecutions isn’t expected. There was however a huge amount of political pressure to ’solve’ the crime that tore apart peoples ‘quiet and prefect’ suburban neighborhoods. The three originally arested came from ‘crime ridden’ Aurora and invaded ‘peaceful and pastoral’ Naperville. What a load of hooey, but several suburbanites still buy into the nonsense about how things are so bad in the cities and life is so much greater in their suburb.
    In my opinion the death penalty should never be handed out for convictions based on eye witness testimony, jail house snitches, or confessions. The only time that is could possibly be used is if the physical evidence is so conclusive that there are no questions as to guilt. It should be so conclusive that it can be taken out of the evidence locker 20 years later and conviction can again be established without a reasonable doubt.

    train111


  14. - Cop defender - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 10:22 am:

    What never is mentioned by Rich or others is Cruz’s actions in this saga. He largely put himself into the meat grinder in this case with his lies, false statements and implication of others. The civil reward he received in settlement was miniscule compared to some Cook County cases, essentially proving that “wrong” done to Cruz was not nearly as egregious as some of the bleaters have stated. Where is the sympathy for the DuPage 7, who were wrongfully indicted? A jury heard the “evidence” against them and acquitted them all, several on directed verdicts.


  15. - spooky32 - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 10:44 am:

    and its important to recognize that not every person in prison or jail is there because of a conspiracy between police and prosecutors


  16. - careerstudent - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 10:53 am:

    Cop defender- Cruz’s actions? Oh sure, he foolishly injected himself into the case and lied to police to try and collect a reward. But you seem to be saying that means he somehow deserved everything that flowed from it.

    There is no moral equivalency between Cruz’s bad acts and the actions of people professionally obligated to pursue facts and justice who pursued neither.

    As for the settlement- that doesn’t “prove” anything other than fitting into a general pattern that settlements and awards aren’t as large in DuPage as Cook.

    There’s nothing worth defending in the actions of police and prosecutors over 20 years in this case. Their actions were the definition “Epic FAIL” criminal or not. They did tremendous damage to the justice system and to their professions.

    Joe Birkett finally acknowledged reality- that Cruz was not involved. Something he was unwilling to do a few years ago. Schillerstrom opposed settling with Cruz because he believed Cruz to be involved. What does he have to say? What of county board member Michael McMahon, who said publicly that he wished they could take Cruz et al “to the basement and shoot them.”?


  17. - Cop defender - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:31 am:

    The cops and prosecutors were/are good and honest people trying, under difficult circumstances, to solve crimes. Cruz was a house burglar who committed multiple felonies to obstruct justice in a murder case. So yes, there is no moral equivalence. .


  18. - Amy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:44 am:

    every case has it’s own unique set of facts and actors involved. criminals may have patterns involving multiple crimes, and bad actors on the side of law enforcement and prosecution may have multiple occurances of bad acts. my problem with the coverage of such cases as the Cruz case is that they devolve into statistical stories of prosecutorial misconduct, extrapolating statistics onto reality and distorting.

    the reality is crime and degradation that occurs all too frequently in America. so I harken back to one thing….victims. a person found dead, a woman ( cause it is most often a woman) who is sexually assaulted. and the
    undeniable numbers of people who are violated by real evil
    people walking our streets, not the police and not prosecutors.

    the victims in the Dugan Cruz matters are girls, found dead, lost for their families. i’m so very sorry for their permanent loss.


  19. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:50 am:

    ===Cruz was a house burglar who committed multiple felonies to obstruct justice in a murder case. ===

    And you are apparently OK with the fact that the powers that be tried repeatedly to have him executed for that.


  20. - Judge Dredd - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:55 am:

    What everybody seems to forget is that Brian Dugan, Rolando Cruz, Alejandro Hernandez and Steven Buckley were all friends. Also Rolando Cruz and Alejandro Hernandez made a full confession to Police. Brian Dugans DNA was left inside Jeanine Nicarico….In the end God will Judge them all….


  21. - Judge Dredd - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:06 pm:

    Why would Brian give up his friends when he knows that there is no disputing the DNA Evidence…Rolando Cruz tried to collect the reward money for the murder, remember…he put all his friends at the house that day …He also told Police things that only they would know….I Still believe that they were all there that day…Brian took her to the creek and killed her , but they were all involved…..They are all guilty, that why they all still remain silent..the Statue of Limitations never runs out on Murder


  22. - Cop defender - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:09 pm:

    Cruz was never within 10 years of execution. The appeals system exposed the flaws in the case and led to his freedom. Prosecutors and cops honestly believed Cruz was involved…as did juries. There have been hundreds if not thousands of times law enforcement people have sought to prosecute someone for a crime and later evidence indicates a different suspect. That doesn’t mean they are evil or bad people. It shows the criminal justice system is not perfect.


  23. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:11 pm:

    JD, you can believe whatever you want to. It’s a free country. But the state police investigated it and came to the conclusion that Dugan acted alone.

    And that Cruz statement you refer to was actually a “vision” that Cruz said he had. There were no notes taken and no video or audio recording by prosecutors or police of that “vision statement” by Cruz.


  24. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:12 pm:

    ===That doesn’t mean they are evil or bad people. It shows the criminal justice system is not perfect. ===

    Which is pretty much what I wrote at the top. Not sure what your beef is here.


  25. - Cop defender - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:14 pm:

    I have no beef. Just wanted to provide perspective to some of the commentary.


  26. - Hank - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:31 pm:

    Moon
    Jaclyn Dowaliby murdered and Richard M Daley about to run for Mayor who pushed through the arrest of the parents due to the hysteria of the public/media for a solution. Daley was now mayor when the trials began but the mother was acquitted, father convicted then the case overturned when the facts came out.
    “With the media clamoring for action, Capt. Daniel McDevitt of the Illinois State Police took over the case and accused Jaclyn’s parents, Cynthia and David, of the crime. Given the paucity of evidence, prosecutors were reluctant to act until ordered to do so by their boss, Richard M. Daley, who was about to run for mayor of Chicago”
    Lot’s more to read. I think they even made a movie out of it but of course this is a subject that the tame media never brings up with king Richie


  27. - Objective Dem - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 12:32 pm:

    Train 111, You need to switch doctors if you are going to one that wouldn’t change treatment if another doctor misdiagnosed you and your life was in jeopardy.

    There is no excuse for Birkett or Jim Ryan’s actions. The papers didn’t provide a run-down of the false and misleading evidence presented, but it was disgusting. For instance, they were saying a footprint on the door that skewed left could be made by a shoe that skewed right due to the wind. Or they said that shoeprints under a window indicated that Dugan didn’t act alone - even though the shoeprints were from a small child. The original confession came when they told a mentally slow young man that he could get a box full of money (which they showed him) and a parade if he could give them evidence. He implicated Cruz and then when they pressed him on how he knew, he said he saw it happen. Then he was charged.

    Yes Cruz is a punk, a jerk, and could have handled himself better. But that hardly excuses what happened to him.


  28. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:01 pm:

    I know this may not be a popular sentiment, but the system worked (in this case). Multiple appeals over years and advocates working on behalf of death row inmates did prevent innocent men from being put to death. If anyone thinks that capital punishment cases should be slam dunk every time, then the perspective of crime and punishment is way off. Nothing is as black and white as it may appear. To scrap the whole system because the system worked (preventing someone from being wrongly killed) does not make sense.


  29. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:02 pm:

    ===I know this may not be a popular sentiment, but the system worked (in this case).===

    You gotta be kidding me. Yeah, it worked after people were wrongly kept on death row for years. After the state Supreme Court repeatedly threw out convictions.

    How is that “working”?

    Seriously, that was messed up.


  30. - Objective Dem - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:15 pm:

    I should clarify that Birkett and Ryan did not personally get involved in “framing” Cruz or the others. But they should have had the integrity to recognize that there was no real evidence against them while the evidence did indicate that Dugan committed the crime.

    In order to be bi-partisan, Attorney General - now Senator - Burris also avoided taking action in spite of the evidence. I remember one of his top aides resigning in protest.


  31. - girllawyer - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:15 pm:

    “now that (Birkett) has totally failed to convict the right guy - a guilty plea doesn’t count” Doesn’t count toward what? Whatever else one might think about the sad history of this case, please don’t perpetuate the myth that a guilty plea is any less of a conviction than a jury verdict. It isn’t and it is a disservice to victims and and the criminal justice system to say that it is.


  32. - Cop defender - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:17 pm:

    Objective Dem….all the “horror stories” you read in the media were looked at by a special prosecutor who indicted seven officials. That evidence was put before a jury, which found it not credible. So, in essence, the law enforcement officials were falsely accused. What about them? Or do we only care about falsely accused thugs like Cruz, who already had a criminal record and admitted to felonies in this case?


  33. - Amy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:18 pm:

    Hank at 12:31, source of the quote?


  34. - girllawyer - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:28 pm:

    Cop Defender - being found “not guilty” is not the same as being found “falsely accused”. Frequently juries believe a defendant is probably guilty but conclude that there is not enough evidence to return a guilty verdict given the state’s very high burden in a criminal case of “beyond a reasonable doubt”. That is what they are required to do. But it is grossly inaccurate to equate “not guilty” to “falsely accused”.


  35. - train111 - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:28 pm:

    Judge Dredd

    As we can see from the Jon Burge cases in Chicago–a ‘full confession’ doesn’t necessarily mean squat!!!!

    train111


  36. - Objective Dem - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:51 pm:

    Cop Defender,

    Girllawyer did a good job presenting my view.

    While I think the vast majority of cops are good/very good. I also know that there are corrupt cops, stupid cops and over zealous cops. Just like there are corrupt, stupid and over zealous people in every line of work.

    Putting police,religious leaders, doctors, teachers, or whoever on a pedestal and pretending they can do no wrong is dangerous. We strengthen these professions when we remove/discipline people who violate the trust in these professions. Defending them just because they were able to get hired doesn’t help anyone.


  37. - Abe's Ghost - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:57 pm:

    Objective Dem is correct in adding Burris to the list. The Assistant AG assigned to handle one of the appeals resigned instead of taking a case she determined, correctly and properly, was one of wrongful conviction. Burris did a dodge and weave (how prescient) and simply said he was relying on the jury’s verdict. As to Cop Defender, there were other officers, I believe at least one Sheriff’s Dept and an asst. prosecutor who doubted the cases and got slapped down by the powers that be for questioning the party line. So don’t try and make this an anti-cop or anti-prosecutor thing. This is/was serious misconduct protected by the political establishment in DuPage. No amount of obfuscation with trees can hide the forest.


  38. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 1:58 pm:

    The Cruz case is the ugliest episode in Illinois politics and government in my lifetime.

    Jim Ryan, Roland Burris and Joe Birkett were quite willing to let innocent men be executed in order to protect their political careers. It doesn’t get any lower than that.

    The mystery in the Nicarico case is how Dugan wasn’t Prime Suspect #1 from the get-go. He was well-known to law enforcement at the time.


  39. - Objective Dem - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 2:15 pm:

    It is worth citing some of the people who did the right thing despite the impact on their careers. I did a quick google and pulled the following from a LA times article. (I also find the Burris quote interesting.)

    “Mary Brigid Kenney urged her then-boss, Illinois Atty. Gen. Roland Burris, to confess error, writing in her resignation: “I realized that I was being asked to help execute an innocent man, and certainly a man who had been grossly denied a right to a fair trial.”

    Burris’ response: “It is not for me to place my judgment over a jury, regardless of what I think.”

    Seven years earlier, John Sam, one of the first Du Page County sheriff’s investigators on the case, also quit in protest–and testified for the defense.”


  40. - Amy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 2:27 pm:

    Hank, I found the source of your quote….on Amazon.com, in reviews for a book on the case by Protess and Warden. it’s a quote in a favorable review about a book by two guys who are against the death penalty. odd reading today how angst ridden those are who now find that Cruz wants Dugan to get death.


  41. - Cop defender - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 2:41 pm:

    girl lawyer….falsely accused then is just an opinion. By the same standard, Cruz was found not guilty, not falsely convicted. I am familiar with the DuPage 7 case and the jury openly scoffed at most of the evidence against the lawmen. Are you saying all those freed from Death Row are indeed actually innocent?


  42. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 2:45 pm:

    ===Are you saying all those freed from Death Row are indeed actually innocent? ===

    OK, that’s enough.

    You’ve twisted people’s words here one too many times today. Take a break.


  43. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 4:12 pm:

    I have always taken a simpler (perhaps too simplistic) appraoch to the detah penalty. By the time you pay the costs of all the appeals, the extra prosecution expense, and the increase cost of housing and carign for a death row inmate, we spend far more money then if we locked them up for life. I am skeptical that more people would commit heinous crimes if th penalty was life in prison v death. In my limited expereince, heinous crimes tend to flow from people with other issues who would have done what they did regardless of the death penalty.


  44. - Wingman - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 5:14 pm:

    Find it ironic that some are complaining about daily herald cheerleading for prosecution. When has the big bad downtown press done anything but cheerlead Lisa madigan? Still waiting for national press to be anything other than obama’s PR shop.


  45. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 5:17 pm:

    Ah, Wingman. The guy who compared LMadigan to an Iranian dictator. lol


  46. - Amy - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 7:46 pm:

    every time i read about the Center for Wrongful Convictions, i think someone should start the Center for Wrongful Acquittals. Since double jeopardy can’t occur, the right thing for enterprising reporters and researchers to think about is…..start with this crime, the missing Bradley sisters, and see if you can find those who took them. here’s hoping they are still alive.
    the number of wrongful convictions is tiny compared to the montrous actions of the evil who prey on our streets every day.
    there were 15 shootings last night in Chicago. find the guilty.


  47. - Lynn S - Wednesday, Jul 29, 09 @ 11:23 pm:

    Will be back tomorrow when I have more time to go over some of the outreageous statements made in this thread. Until then:

    Amy states: “the number of wrongful convictions is tiny compared to the monstrous actons of the evil who prey on our streets every day.”

    Perhaps Rich or another source can provide us with a date and possibly even a link to a story the Tribune did about 7 years ago. It was about a robbery (and possibly a rape) in the Chicago area where someone was arrested and went to prison. The problem? The convicted prisoner wasn’t the person responsible for the crime, and the two guys who did it went on to commit something like 50 more crimes before they were finally caught. The story, however, ran in the middle of the week and probably didn’t get the attention it deserved.

    If you don’t want to oppose wrongful convictions because you feel that anyone who is accused of a crime is obviously guilty, then perhaps you would prefer to oppose wrongful convictions because the real criminals who engaged in the acts that got the wrong guy sent to prison so often go on to commit other crimes after they got away with the first one. They don’t stop and say, “Oh, I got lucky. Perhaps I should consider getting a real job and some better friends and start living a better life.”

    And don’t forget, we waste taxpayer’s money on trials, feeding/housing/medical care for prisoners when we have the wrong guy (or gal) in prison for a crime they didn’t commit.


  48. - Dudley Sharp - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 10:10 am:

    “The Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents”
    http://homicidesurvivors.com/2009/07/05/the-death-penalty-more-protection-for-innocents.aspx

    We are all hopeful that both governmental (or individual) practices, which result in innocent deaths, are constantly minimizing that risk. There are two ways to do that. 1) stop the practice or 2) improve the implementation of the practice, in order to lessen that risk.

    In doing so, we need look at both sides of the equations. With the death penalty, usually, anti death penalty folks only look at the possibility of executing an innocent. What they fail to do, is to look at the other side of the equation, which is, what is the risk to innocents without the death penalty, which inquiry results in the reality that innocents are more at risk with a life sentence.


  49. - Lynn S - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 9:43 pm:

    Dudley, the article you have posted a link to has numerous logical fallacies. You’ll have to better if you want to convince us to support the death penalty.


  50. - Dudley Sharp - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 7:24 am:

    To Lynn S:

    It would help if you clarified your criticisms. Had I thought there were logical fallacies, I would have corrected them, already.

    FYI, I get a lot of criticism like yours, meaning, without specifics. Generally, when I ask for specifics, the people just go away.

    I encourage scrutiny and a specific review of facts and reason.

    So, Lynn, be very specific and I will be, as well.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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* Police warn of 7 garage burglaries in Hegewisch
* Chicago doesn’t have the USA’s No. 1 hot dog: report. What do they know?
* Dear Abby: When I resist a dish for my health, family offended
* Police: Armed man robbed 4 street vendors in Back of the Yards
* Oprah Winfrey gives at least $1 million to Obama Foundation
* Horoscope for July 17, 2018
* 2 felons charged in connection with Orland Park gun burglaries
* Pritzker spending $207,000 a day on gov race, swamping Rauner’s $83,000
* San Francisco to consider tax on companies to help homeless
* Netflix sees slow subscriber growth


* 'Bizarre.' 'Shameful.' 'Disgraceful.': Republicans join Democrats in condemning Trump's remarks
* 'Very much counter to the plan': Trump defies advisers in embrace of Putin
* NTSB: Engines may have failed in helicopter crash near I-57
* Man shot and killed in his West Side apartment
* Cubs' Kyle Schwarber falls to Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby final; Javier Baez eliminated in first round
* Man and woman hit by stray bullets less than block from scene of police shooting
* Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23
* Trump hands Putin a diplomatic triumph by casting doubt on U.S. intelligence agencies
* Bashed for taking $2,750 from for-profit immigrant detention company, Chicago alderman says he's donating $5K to pro-immigrant group
* Uber under federal investigation for alleged gender pay gap, report says


» July 16, 2018 - Full Show
» CHA Seniors File Complaint Over Missing Grab Bars
» Cook County Commissioners Confounded By Hiring Of Health System Consultant
» Third Party Candidates for Governor; Student Loans & Retirement Saving; New Illinois Made Makers
» CPD Officer Shoots And Kills Man In South Shore
» Durbin Says He Hasn't Taken Position on SCOTUS Pick — Also Has Doubts About Election Security
» Look Inside The Renovated Governor's Mansion
» Angry Crowd Protests After Chicago Police Fatally Shoot Man
» Chicago Police: Man Killed By Police Appeared To Be Armed
» State Week: SCOTUS Nominee, Dan Ryan Protest, Misleading Ads


* EJ Dionne: Will the blue wave start in Jersey?
* Their View: 'Everybody needed to know what happened to Emmett Till'
* Gov. Rauner signs two gun control bills, says he'll veto another
* Rauner signs bill to ease physician assistant hiring
* Londrigan outraises Davis in 2nd quarter; Davis has more in fund
* Rauner doesn't want Illinois pulled from multistate voter registration system
* Gov. Rauner signs two gun control bills
* Londrigan outraises Davis in 3rd quarter; Davis has more in fund
* Durbin not confident Illinois election systems are secure
* Jeff Keicher to finish Bob Pritchard's term in Illinois House


* Births for Tuesday, July 17, 2018
* Helen Dorothy (Van Voorhis) Timpner
* Mickey Jackson
* Wilma Jean Emery
* William Ralph 'PeeWee' Horning
* Russell Schirmer
* Jo Ann Schirmer
* Michael James Jones
* Brenda Kay James
* Rosemary Sears


* Lakers, Trail Blazers to meet for Summer League title again
* Benched! Foul ball made its mark on me at 1969 All-Star Game
* Fashion firms upend design routine to focus on speed, trends
* The next senior World Cup is in France, not Qatar
* Showtime and Sacha Baron Cohen push back against Sarah Palin

* Pope County pastor unpaid for FBI, police ...
* Republicans, including Davis, raise big bu...
* Metro East Republicans in Congress raise b...
* United Front
* Second 'minibus' pulls in
* US REPRESENTATIVE JOHN SHIMKUMS (IL-15): S...
* Local politicians react to Trump, Putin su...
* Underwood outraises Hultgren in latest cam...
* 3 Illinois GOP House members, in rare move...
* Illinois lawmakers pile on Trump/Putin sum...

* Area lawmakers condemn Trump comments of R......
* Local politicians react to Trump, Putin su......
* Guest column: Senators show bias against r......
* Rep. Brad Schneider Slams Trump Press Conf......
* 2 Democratic senators, 3 House Republicans......

* North Dakota, Minnesota delegations denoun......
* ND, Minn. delegations denounce Trump's......
* Area lawmakers condemn Trump comments of R......
* Local politicians react to Trump, Putin su......
* Trump's Own Team: He 'Looked Incre......

* Will anyone “come to save the day” for WGN radio/TV takeover by Sinclair?
* CAPS Meeting For Beat 1912 Is Tuesday At Sulzer Library
* The sad state of the sandwich at Logan Square deli Rosie’s Sidekick
* SportsMondayWednesday: On The Road To The All-Star Game
* The Weekend In Chicago Rock
* Capitol Fax: Harith Augustus coverage roundup
* The Lost Children Of Chon Thanh
* The Week In Chicago Rock
* Strip Mall Preservation
* More high school grads than ever are going to college, but 1 in 5 will quit


* Gov. Rauner meets one of oldest living WWII veterans
* IDOT reopening lanes where possible for July 4 travel
* Bellock named DHFS director
* Follow-Up Samples from the Illinois River Show No Microcystins
* Illinois Department of Public Health Heat Safety Tips

  
* Honor India to unveil the Honor 9N on July 24
* Cuba rolls out mobile internet at last
* ​WTH Amazon!?
* CSIRO: Lithium-ion battery waste to exceed 100,000 tonnes by 2036
* Nokia X5 to arrive on July 18, this time for real
* JerryRigEverything gives the Vivo Nex a cool see-through back
* Essential Phone for just $250: High definition audio, Android P beta, superb built quality

* FEATURE: Trio of local residents visit baseball's best stadiums
* White Sox Minor League Update: July 16, 2018
* White Sox Minor League Update: July 16, 2018
* White Sox Farm Report – July 16, 2018
* Super Stats Pack: Team Stats
* Super Stats Pack: Team Stats
* Red Sox have been a hit, but MLB season has been a big whiff


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