A new editorial published yesterday by the Dallas Morning News (“Carlos DeLuna death case is unnerving, “May 16, 2012) comments on the new investigation into his wrongful execution, noting that “the findings should nauseate those who trust that only the greatest care, the most professional police work, the most rigorous jury and appellate review take place before someone is strapped to the gurney and allowed one last say.”
The editors also note the fact that while a majority of Americans (61% according to the latest Gallup poll) say they support the death penalty, a strong majority also believe that an innocent person has been executed. They ask whether the case of Carlos DeLuna might address that dichotomy. Here’s an excerpt from the editorial:
A bizarre reality is imbedded in the public’s attitudes toward the death penalty: Most Americans support it, yet most also allow for the possibility that innocent people can or have been executed.
This suggests one of two things. Either the nation is callous to the idea of fatal error, which we pray is not the truth, or there’s never been a case that has sufficiently aroused the public by putting a face on an innocent victim of a state death chamber.
Could that have changed this week?
Also read this editorial from the New York Times: “A Routine Execution in Texas,” May 15, 2012.