He was the spitting image of the killer, had the same first name and was near the scene of the crime at the fateful hour: Carlos DeLuna paid the ultimate price and was executed in place of someone else in Texas in 1989, a report out Tuesday found.
Even "all the relatives of both Carloses mistook them," and DeLuna was sentenced to death and executed based only on eyewitness accounts despite a range of signs he was not a guilty man, said law professor James Liebman. [emphasis added]
When it comes to arguments for or against capital punishment, this is the one I've been making since Day One: What if you execute an innocent man? You can argue about crime and punishment, deterrence and retribution until you are blue in the face, but I will never be convinced that the death penalty can be "fairly" implemented without the chance of the ultimate grievous error.
I find it comical, if not ironic, that many of the very people who claim the government is so inept and inefficient it cannot be trusted to run a space program, a post office or even a sanitation department are the same ones who argue the loudest (and fight the hardest) to continue the brutal and inhumane practice of capital punishment.
Thank goodness more people and more people are re-examining their position on state-sanctioned executions, and more and more states are moving to outlaw this barbaric, expensive and irreversible "procedure."
California, by the way, is putting the death penalty to a vote this November. Recent polling shows a fairly strong majority of CA voters favor doing away with capital punishment. Voting on the issue takes place on November 6.