Tuesday, February 28, 2006

And then there were 123

Yesterday the Death Penalty Information Center announced that John Ballard has become the nation's 123rd wrongly convicted person freed from death row in what we call the "modern" era (since executions were allowed to resume in 1976).

Here's the first two graphs of the DPIC press release:
WASHINGTON, DC – After three years on Florida’s death row, John Ballard has become the nation’s 123rd person freed from death row according to the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC). The Florida Supreme Court unanimously overturned Ballard’s conviction and acquitted him of all charges on Thursday, February 23, concluding that the state did not present enough evidence to convict Ballard and that the trial judge should have dismissed the case immediately. Shortly after the Florida Supreme Court’s decision was announced, the State Attorney General’s office said that it would not challenge the ruling. Ballard was released from Union Correctional Facility on Saturday, February 25.

“This case demonstrates that innocent people still face a significant risk of execution in this country,” said Richard Dieter, Executive Director of DPIC, “For every eight people executed, we find one person on death row who should never have been even convicted.”
If you want to read more about the death penalty and the innocent people who have been convicted and sentenced to die, go here. Meanwhile, as my friend Karl noted last week, Ballard needs financial support, because the state of Florida only gives wrongly convicted people something like $100 upon release. If you scroll down, you can find out how to help.


Jen said...

Help get Thomas Gudinas off death row ....another murder of an innocent will take place if no one takes his case. State paid attorney's have made a mess of his case and they should review his representation

Anonymous said...

Sorry Jen:
Another GUILTY person will not be held responsible for the brutal, painful, extremely violent & senseless death of an innocent woman if this peice of garbage is allowed off death row.

What evidence do you have that he did not murder Michelle? Probably NONE, because he is guilty.

Talk to his cousins that he lived with at the time, whose home he returned to with Michelles blood on his clothes...............do you think he gave ANY consideration to Michelle as he beat her, dragged her, terrified her and STOMPED her to death. Not to mention repeatedly sexually assualting her before AND after her death. Face it Jen some people are NOT fit for society, he is a perfect example