Thursday, July 06, 2006

Good and Bad

Good: Listing your kid as an authorized user on your credit card so he can start building a credit score.
Bad: Doing it when he's seven.

Good: The Innocence Project uses DNA evidence to overturn another wrongful conviction (181 total to date).
Bad: Antonin Scalia, in a legal writing, claims that “Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached.” (Source, 3rd paragraph under heading One).

Good: Memorizing Psalm 27 (five verses down, nine to go).
Bad: Memorizing Psalm 119 (don't think I'll try that one).

5 comments:

Matt Green said...

Good: Snakes on a plane.
Bad: Snakes on a plane.

It bears remarkable similarity to music from the eighties, actually.

Courtney said...

You totally win, Matt Green.

Matt Green said...

Flipping sweet.

Jim said...

I think Scalia's opinion was pointing to the fact that at some point, as a legal matter, convictions must remain undisturbed. He is not saying that its a good thing to execute an innocent man. Rather, he is pointing to the slippery slope issue, namely, when does it stop? Do we have to go back and review *every* conviction everytime there is a new advance in forensic science? At some point you have to say, the trial was fair, and the conviction sticks.

I did not read the opinion, but this sentiment is a commonly repeated refrain among those in the legal profession. It simply isn't feasible to be constantly re-reviewing old convictions every time there is a new test available. The legistlature is of course free to prescribe standards for such things, but it will necessarily have to be very narrow. Honestly, there is always a chance of error in criminal trials, even death penalty cases. This fact my go to the propriety of the death penalty more than anything else.

Jim said...

As an aside - here is an example of such a statutory scheme:

http://www.hargettwatson.com/post.html

Go to "Writ of Actual Innocence Based on Biological Evidence"