At one time I was a strong believer in using the death penalty to deter murder. However, through the years I have come to the position that the death penalty should be put on a moratorium until we can improve our ability to confirm guilt. In fact, I now believe we should not put anyone on death row, unless we have definitive DNA evidence. Anyone convicted of murder WITHOUT the use of DNA should be placed in prison for life without the possibility of parole. Capital punishment should be reserved ONLY for those with DNA evidence. There are just too many people who have been exonerated by the Innocence Project.
There have been 317 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States.
• The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Exonerations have been won in 38 states; since 2000, there have been 250 exonerations.
• 18 of the 317 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row. Another 16 were charged with capital crimes but not sentenced to death.
• The average length of time served by exonerees is 13.5 years. The total number of years served is approximately 4,249.