Boulder Daily News.
I tcaught our attention that a high-profile injustice here in Colorado was being reported on and shared among those opposed to the death penalty nationwide.
But why? Robert Dewey was not among the three men sitting on Colorado's death row.
But Dewey's conviction and recent release based on DNA evidence -- dug up after million-dollar review geared toward exonerating the innocent -- lends emotional credibility to those who believe the death penalty is unjust.
Ours is an imperfect justice system. And because of that fact, the death penalty remains a most imperfect, final solution.
Dewey spent 18 years in jail for the brutal rape and murder of a Palisade teenager in 1994. He is the first to be exonerated through the government's DNA Justice Review Project. Funded by federal grants, prosecutors and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation are reviving old cases in which current technology might make a difference. For Dewey, it's the difference between spending the rest of his life in prison and the freedom he now has.
DNA evidence cleared Dewey, and linked the horrific crime to a different man serving time in prison for a very similar rape and murder. Douglas Thames' DNA was found at both crime scenes, prosecutors now say.
Colorado lawmakers last considered getting rid of our death penalty three years ago. We would hope that the number of overturned convictions and a small national trend of eliminating the death penalty would convince them to give it another go.
The death penalty still enjoys popular support, even though it doesn't deter the kind of crimes it applies to. It can only be explained that Americans enjoy the option of the ultimate revenge, an eye for an eye. But whose eyes? More than 130 death row inmates have been let go for wrongful convictions since 1973.
Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?
Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.
If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.
Sunday, May 06, 2012
Boulder Daily News.