Scalia Once Pushed Death Penalty For Inmate Just Cleared With DNA Evidence
In North Carolina, thirty years after their convictions in the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl, based on confessions that they quickly repudiated and said were coerced, two mentally disabled half brothers were declared innocent and ordered released Tuesday by a judge after DNA evidence cleared them. Henry Lee McCollum and his half brother Leon Brown were declared innocent on Tuesday.
[su_center_ad]Justice Scalia wrote an opinion of an unrelated death row case out of Texas in 1994, according to the Huffington Post.
“For example, the case of an 11-year-old girl raped by four men and then killed by stuffing her panties down her throat,” Scalia wrote in Callins v. Collins. “How enviable a quiet death by lethal injection compared with that!”
Scalia was referring to Henry Lee McCollum who at the time had been a death row inmate for 12 years.
Justice Harry A. Blackmun responded to Scalia later, writing of the flaws in the case as well as McCollum’s mental capacity, the Huffington Post reports.
“That our system of capital punishment would single out Buddy McCollum to die for this brutal crime only confirms my conclusion that the death penalty experiment has failed,” he wrote. “Our system of capital punishment simply does not accurately and consistently determine which defendants most ‘deserve’ to die.”
Scalia is of the belief that an innocent man or woman has never been put to death.
In the Kansas v. Marsh case in 2006, Scalia wrote, “It should be noted at the outset that the dissent does not discuss a single case — not one — in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit. If such an event had occurred in recent years, we would not have to hunt for it; the innocent’s name would be shouted from the rooftops by the abolition lobby.”
It’s time for Scalia to shout from the rooftops.
A death row interview with Henry McCollum:
The New York Times reports, “The case against the men, always weak, fell apart after DNA evidence implicated another man whose possible involvement had been somehow overlooked by the authorities even though he lived only a block from where the victim’s body was found, and he had admitted to committing a similar rape and murder around the same time.”
Mr. McCollum is now 50-years-old and has spent three decades on death row for a brutal rape and murder he did not commit. [su_sky_ad]