Saw the movie Deadline with my friend Karen — it covered the controversial topic, ‘The Death Penalty’, by relating the story of Illinois Governor George Ryan, who considered clemency for ~167 death row inmates. His consideration was prompted by discoveries of ~12 lifers who were later found to be not guilty — in the same timespan, ~13 people were executed. That means that right/wrong executions were basically a 50/50 coin flip, which you can consider somewhat troubling, if you are a thinking person.
I won’t tell you how the movie unfolds — but I can say that I highly recommend it for everyone — especially for people who haven’t spent much time thinking deeply about the death penalty. I was surprised, myself, even during the span of the movie, changing my opinion as to my position. That said, I left with a fairly firm point of view — one that I think/hope I carry with me for the rest of my life — this movie helped me get there.
The movie did a great job of presenting both sides/shades of the debate — I liked that — I’m not much of a fan of documentaries that only present one side of the coin.
In the end, I don’t think it comes down to innocent vs. guilty; rather, it is a much more basic question — “Do you think it is right to kill anyone?” If your answer to that is no, then there is no reason to ever consider anything beyond life in prison without parole. If your answer to that is yes, then you need to be sure the person you are killing is truly, 100%, guilty — that’s an extremely hard thing to do.