August 25, 2009
Whatever their views about capital punishment, most Americans probably assume that a convicted defendant will be released from prison if he can prove that he didn't commit the crime. In fact, the Supreme Court has stopped short of endorsing what lawyers call the "actual innocence" doctrine. But an unexpected order in a Georgia death penalty case may indicate that the justices are coming around to a common-sense view about the due process of law. Last week, they ordered a federal court in Georgia to reconsider the case of death row inmate Troy Anthony Davis, convicted of murdering an off-duty police officer 18 years ago. Since then, seven prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimony, and dignitaries including former President Carter, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Pope Benedict XVI have pleaded for clemency, with the pope's representative providing Georgia officials with a detailed critique of the evidence used to convict Davis.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 15, 1986
Rarely has it been proved so eloquently, that a picture speaks for a thousand words as Paul Conrad's cartoon (Sept. 9) lamenting the dastardly murder of innocent worshipers in the Istanbul synagogue. Once again Conrad proved not only his customary genius, but also his compassion for the innocents. DENES MARSH Los Angeles
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 5, 1993
It's very disturbing to read about the things children have to deal with--gang shootings, molestations, teen sex and a poor school environment. What a shame that kids have to face so many intense problems. I recently received an announcement for my 30th high school reunion. I remembered that the only thing I had on my mind back then was what kind of sweet roll did I want to get for nutrition. What has happened to the "innocence of childhood?" MARTY ESTRIN Glendale
January 25, 2003
I could not finish "Preoccupied Territory" (Opinion, Jan. 19). Lynn Cohen's point of view, that innocent Arabs are suffering, left no room for outrage at the Arab leaders whose terrorist aims and unwillingness to seek peace are in large part responsible for the present heart-rending situation. It is a known axiom, and I quote Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben: "When leaders go astray, innocent people suffer." Unfortunately, innocent people are suffering on both sides. Since the intifada began in earnest two years ago, more than 700 Israelis have been murdered and over 5,000 Israelis have been burned, maimed, wounded and permanently disabled in terror attacks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 2001
Re "Executing 'Mental Children,' " editorial, Aug. 15: I was somewhat surprised by the question: "And have we executed some individuals who were innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted?" Is this a trick question? Of course innocent people have been executed! That is the tragedy of capital punishment. It isn't that we believe ruthless killers don't deserve to die. We have no sympathy for out-of-control monsters who are a threat to society. However, the reason some of us support life sentences without the possibility of parole, instead of the death penalty, is because if one innocent person is executed, then the entire system is inherently wrong and should be abolished.
December 27, 2001
Re "9/11: 'Treat Each Day Lovingly, Carefully,' " letter, Dec. 21: Don Stanley writes, " 'Things' have not changed" since Sept. 11. Since I have said that "things will never be the same," I feel I should respond. While I understand what he is saying, I would reply that our lives are based on perception, and that when our perceptions change, so, in effect, do our lives. To live in fear is to live in fear; it becomes the new reality. It doesn't matter that the danger has always existed; the fear did not, but now it does.