Joshua Marquis Death Penalty Analysis

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Joshua Marquis is neither a scholar, a jurist, or a crusader for the wrongly accused. Instead he has spent most of his time as a prosecutor. His essay is written from a personal point of view where he supports the death penalty; however, his essay is unlike the average supporter. Joshua Marquis believes capital punishment should be decided based on the following: each case on its own, within its own context, using the specific facts of the case, considering the community where the crime occurred and the background of the defendants. With that being said, Marquis believes that for certain cases the death penalty is appropriate. In fact, in 1991 and again in 1997 he stood before the jury and ask them to impose the death penalty. Within the …show more content…

He points out that the most persuasive argument offered by abolitionists is the execution of an innocent person. According to his essay DNA testing has the power to establish factual guilt or innocence beyond virtually all doubt. The Innocence Project painstakingly selects a tiny number of convictions in which some real doubt remains after a conviction, and in which DNA will tell whether the defendant did it. What I found interesting from this section was the story that follows. According to the essay, Northwestern University sponsored a conference which claimed that group of people were innocent on death row. One of these men include Dr. Jay Smith who was eventually “freed from death row.” Smith was convicted of the murder of Susan Reinert and her two children. The state appellate court held that state prosecutors failed to disclose the existence of two grains of sand found on the victims body, which might have possibly supported Smith’s claim of innocent. Smith’s conviction was set aside, he was freed from a life sentence in prison, and the state was forbidden from retrying him. What I found interesting from this story was that Smith was not innocent and yet remains on Amnesty International’s list of those exonerated from death row and was feted by the Innocence Project at Northwestern University in

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