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Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Dow on Death Penalty: “Innocence is a Distraction”

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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University of Houston Law Professor David Dow had an op-ed in the NY Times not too long ago entitled The End of Innocence. It turns out to be one of the few op-eds I’ve read in recent history truely worth reading. The gist –

Innocence is a distraction. Most people on death row are like Roger Coleman, not Paul House, which is to say that most people on death row did what the state said they did. But that does not mean they should be executed.

It is arguable how distracting Dow himself is being by running the Innocence Project at the University of Houston which focuses, unsurprisingly, on exoneration, as in innocence. Dow is eloquently right that a fixation on innocence misses the point of the capital punishment debate, but we all know how well nuanced argument does on the American political stage.

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Category: criminal law, death penalty, university of houston

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