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“The Fatal Flaws” by Bob Herbert, Article Summary

The New York TimesFebruary 11, 2002In the spring of 2000, a team of lawyers and criminologists headed by Prof. James Liebman released the first phase of their study on the death penalty in the United States. The study showed that the American system of capital punishment was “riddled” with unfairness and incompetence, with serious errors erupting with alarming frequency at every stage of the process. In February of 2002, the second phase was released examining the causes of the frequent mistakes in death penalty cases, and possible solutions to remedy the situation. Researchers identified three main errors that often lead to erroneous convictions: incompetent legal counsel, police officers or prosecutors who suppressed evidence and judges who gave jurors the wrong instructions.

The study also suggested that the errors that permeate throughout the system also leave killers at large, exacerbate suffering, waste tax dollars and deprive citizens of the high quality of justice, which they expect and deserve. In conclusion, the study found that the more often officials use the death penalty, the wider the range of crimes to which it is applied. penalty, death, punishment, capital, system, crimes, flawed, states, support, public, errors, deterrent, american, united, study, recent, current, years, supporters, studies, should, retribution, one, legal, lead, heinous, evidence, crime, convictions, been, therefore, surrounding, society, sentences, released, range, prof, pro-death, over, often, new, issues, instead, grounds, found, form, deterrence, criminologists, criminal, because

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