This week, we have a stark example of one of the reasons I strongly oppose the death penalty.
Ledell Lee’s trial was overseen by a judge who was having an affair with the assistant prosecutor. His defense attorney brought this up to try and get a mistrial, but was so drunk the court required him to take a drug test. His legal council was replaced, but the new council did not bring up the affair again. The judge has since married the assistant prosecutor (http://tinyurl.com/mra4aqs).
The forensic method used to tie Lee to the crime scene has since been discredited, the hair that was seen as a match could be matched to roughly 10% of the population (http://tinyurl.com/kvczlpw).
There are tests now available that were not available at the time that could provide more surety to the case. However, the State is on a deadline to commit the executions before the drugs used in the lethal injection expire (http://tinyurl.com/lyc5aom).
Now, I’m not making the argument that this man is a good man, or even that he is an innocent man. However, if the State can make the case that the (admittedly considerable) inconvenience of having to find another batch of drugs is more important than eliminating all reasonable doubt about the man the State kills, then execution is a power the State does not deserve to have.