Journalism Lay-offs Chill Death Row Challenges

Talk about the “seen” and the “unseen”! Death row challengers may require passionate journalists to tout their cases as much as they need lawyers to argue their pleas. When journalists (and lawyers!) are consumed w/ keeping their jobs and covering for laid-off colleagues, no one speaks for death row:

Stories that were being written three years ago that supplemented the legal work undertaken by innocence projects are just not appearing, said the director of Florida’s Innocence Project. The cuts have also hit anti-death penalty campaigns seeking to exonerate prisoners who have already been executed.


This makes me want to start a count of all the “unseen” effects of the recession. If everyone works overtime just to keep their noses clean then the creative projects once fueling the market fall apart. So it goes.


1 Comment

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One response to “Journalism Lay-offs Chill Death Row Challenges

  1. Dudley Sharp

    It is more likely that journalists are sick of being lied to.

    The 132 death row “innocents” scam
    Dudley Sharp, contact info below

    NOTE: fact checking issues, on innocence and the death penalty.

    It is very important to take note that the 132 “exonerated” from death row is a blatant scam, easily uncovered by fact checking.

    Richard Dieter, head of the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) and DPIC have produced the claims regarding the exonerated and innocents released from death row list.

    The scam is that DPIC just decided to redefine what exonerated and innocence mean according to their own perverse definitions.

    How Dieter and DPIC define what “exonerated” or “innocent” means.

    “. . . (DPIC) makes no distinction between legal and factual innocence. ” ‘They’re innocent in the eyes of the law,’ Dieter says. ‘That’s the only objective standard we have.’ ”

    That is untrue, of course. We are all aware of the differences between legal guilt and actual guilt and legal innocence (not guilty) and actual innocence, just as the courts are.

    The only issue in the death penalty innocence debate is how many actual innocents are sent to death row and what is the probability of executing an actual innocent. Legal innocence is not the issue, for the simple fact that we cannot execute a legally innocent person. So the concern is over the actual innocent, those who had no connection to the murder(s).

    Furthermore, there is no finding of actual innocence, but it is “not guilty”. Dieter knows that we are all speaking of actual innocence, those cases that have no connection to the murder(s). He takes advantage of that by redefining exonerated and innocence.

    Dieter “clarifies” the three ways that former death row inmates get onto their “exonerated” by “innocence” list.

    “A defendant whose conviction is overturned by a judge must be further exonerated in one of three ways: he must be acquitted at a new trial, or the prosecutor must drop the charges against him, or a governor must grant an absolute pardon.”

    None establishes actual innocence.

    DPIC has ” . . . included supposedly innocent defendants who were still culpable as accomplices to the actual triggerman.”

    DPIC: “There may be guilty persons among the innocents, but that includes all of us.”

    Good grief. DPIC wishes to apply collective guilt of capital murder to all of us.

    Dieter states: “I don’t think anybody can know about a person’s absolute innocence.” (Green). Dieter said he could not pinpoint how many are “actually innocent” — only the defendants themselves truly know that, he said.” (Erickson)

    Or Dieter won’t assert actual innocence in 1, 102 or 350 cases. He doesn’t want to clarify a real number with proof of actual innocence, that would blow his entire deception.

    Or, Dieter declare all innocent: “If you are not proven guilty in a court of law, you’re innocent.” (Green)

    Dieter would call Hitler and Stalin innocent. Those are his “standards”.

    And that is the credibility of the DPIC.

    For fact checking.

    1. “Case Histories: A Review of 24 Individuals Released from Death Row”, Florida Commission on Capital Cases, 6/20/02, Revised 9/10/02 at

    83% error rate in “innocent” claims.

    2. “Is ‘the innocence list’ an appropriate name?”, 1/19/03

    Dieter admits they don’t discern between legal innocence and actual innocence. One of Dieter’s funnier quotes;”The prosecutor, perhaps, or Dudley Sharp, perhaps, thinks they’re still guilty because there was evidence of their guilt, but that’s a subjective judgment.” Yep, “EVIDENCE OF GUILT”, can’t you see why Dieter would think they were innocent? And that’s how the DPIC works.

    3. The Death of Innocents: A Reasonable Doubt,
    New York Times Book Review, p 29, 1/23/05, Adam Liptak,
    national legal correspondent for The NY Times

    “To be sure, 30 or 40 categorically innocent people have been released from death row . . . “.

    That is out of the DPIC claimed 119 “exonerated”, at that time, for a 75% error rate.

    NOTE: It’s hard to understand how an absolute can have a differential of 33%. I suggest the “to be sure” is, now, closer to 25.


    5. “The Death Penalty Debate in Illinois”, JJKinsella,6/2000,

    6.THE DEATH PENALTY – ALL INNOCENCE ISSUES, Dudley Sharp–the-death-penalty.aspx

    Origins of “innocence” fraud, and review of many innocence issues

    7. “Bad List”, Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, 9/16/02

    How bad is DPIC?

    8. “Not so Innocent”, By Ramesh Ponnuru,National Review, 10/1/02

    DPIC from bad to worse.

    Dudley Sharp, Justice Matters
    e-mail, 713-622-5491,
    Houston, Texas

    Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O’Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.

    A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

    Pro death penalty sites

    essays (Sweden)

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