Wednesday, August 17, 2005

And then there were 121

There's been a pretty significant development on the death penalty front today. The Death Penalty Information Center has discovered two older cases of exonerations, bringing the total number of people freed from death row, and prison, after evidence emerged of their innocence to 121 in the past quarter century.

DPIC writes:

The Death Penalty Information Center recently became aware of two older capital cases in which the defendants had been sentenced to death but were later acquitted at re-trial. We have added Christopher McCrimmon of Arizona and Larry Fisher of Mississippi to our innocence list, bringing the total number of people released from death row on the basis of innocence to 121 since 1973. McCrimmon is the eighth person to be exonerated from Arizona’s death row, and Fisher is the second death row exoneree from Mississippi.

To read more about these cases, go here.


Anonymous said...

As someone who has spent a signficant amount of my professional career representing people on death row on a pro bono basis and fighting against the death penalty in general, I find it offensive that someone makes a decision to include cases such as Larry Fisher's on an innoncence list. There is a difference between actual innocence and an acquittal based on the suppression of evidence. Larry Fisher's second trial did not have a different outcome because it was moved to a county 45 miles away from the one in which he committed a murder but because significant evidence against him was suppressed on a legal technicality. Fisher remains in prison for conviction on another rape charge. If the poster had done any homework on this case, he would realize that this case does not belong on a list of innocents. When this kind of case is added to the list, it strengthens the argument of those in favor of the death penalty that all of those against it are zealots who don't present the "whole story." There are very legitimate cases of innocents who belong on this list and make the fight against the death penalty a valid one. Larry Fisher's case is not one of those. He is a GA parolee that went to MS and proceeded to rape numerous women and murder two of them. His acquittal was because the fact that jewelery belonging to the murdered high school senior was found in his automobile never made its way in front of the second jury because it was supressed on a technicality. Do anti-death penalty movement a favor and take this case off your list. Don't give the proponents one more reason to say we are being less than honest in saying innocent people have been put on death row.

Anonymous said...

I was in the county when the women Larry Fisher raped & murdered. I, along with many women, were afraid to be driving alone (day or night) because of Larry Fisher's actions. I remember his capture & his trials. When I was a bondsman, I went to the county jail to meet with an inmate to post bond. Larry Fisher was making a phone call in the small room where I was with only one jailer & a dispatcher. He brought chill-bumps all over me & it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.... his coldness, his lack or regard for people.

Several years later I became a Corrections Officer & worked in a prison, county jail & juvenile with many murderers, none ever affected me like Larry Fisher. In my opinion, he will never be INNOCENT & really does deserve the death penalty.