September 3, 2014 9:10 am -

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]

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

42 responses to Scalia Once Pushed Death Penalty For Inmate Just Cleared With DNA Evidence

  1. jasperjava September 3rd, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Since when do guilt or innocence matter to right-wing lynch mobs? Especially if the accused is African-American…

  2. New Old Gnu September 3rd, 2014 at 9:52 am

    “Scalia is of the belief that an innocent man or woman has never been put to death.” …….. And Common sense should Never be a Requirement to be a Supreme Court Justice” ! !

  3. New Old Gnu September 3rd, 2014 at 10:13 am

    @ mea_mark …. Looking Good, Now … Think I’m O K .. Thanx for the Help : )

  4. edmeyer_able September 3rd, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Because killing innocent people is not just an ISIS domain….looking at you darren wilson.

    • ideagal September 3rd, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      Speaking of lynch mobs (jasperjava below) how about we wait for the facts? Some innocent young man kneeling with his hands up saying “don’t shoot”? Or a 6′ nearly 300 lb. young man who just stole from a store beating up a cop? I don’t know which one yet, and neither do you. How about we wait and see?

      • edmeyer_able September 3rd, 2014 at 2:04 pm

        I’m guessing wilson will never go to trial or serve as a LEO again. No matter what happened before shots were fired the death penalty was administered.

      • Elliot J. Stamler September 3rd, 2014 at 2:49 pm

        Most people in these racial cases don’t want to wait for the facts – it is the race of the “victim” that automatically settles the issue for them and of course immediately appears Sharpton in his $2000 dollar Armani suits to rouse the rabble and make trouble.

        • Chinese Democracy September 3rd, 2014 at 3:38 pm

          yeah I agree the race of the victim does play into it.

          Usually if its a “black person” .. people like you think they are automatically guilty. Or maybe it doesnt even matter to people like you if they are guilty. Right?

          • Elliot J. Stamler September 4th, 2014 at 1:47 am

            And people like you automatically think the white person is guilty.

          • edmeyer_able September 4th, 2014 at 8:29 am

            Do two searches for yourself 1st Black teen commits suicide while handcuffed 2nd just change the 1st word from black to white then come back and post what you find.

          • Elliot J. Stamler September 4th, 2014 at 12:00 pm

            I have been a criminal court juror in 2 felony trials…we found the black defendant guilty, we found the white defendant guilty. They were racially mixed juries. Period. Nobody interjected any racial matter into it. Nobody even contemplated such a thing. We went by the facts as argued and the law as charged by the judge. Period.

          • edmeyer_able September 4th, 2014 at 12:35 pm

            Yet you claim I’m racially biased, my statement had nothing to do w/juries. This a case of racially biased PD’s and how Black detainees are treated by arresting officers. Do you actually believe an officer can search a suspect twice and not find a GUN? And that the suspect could shoot themselves in the chest w/their hands in cuffs behind their backs?

          • Chinese Democracy September 4th, 2014 at 2:17 pm

            no people like me have cognitive reasoning skills

      • Chinese Democracy September 3rd, 2014 at 3:36 pm

        the FACTS are.. an unarmed black guy was shot 6 times from a distance
        you can come up with all sorts of he stole a cigar b/s theories you want.

        those arent facts

      • Bunya September 3rd, 2014 at 3:44 pm

        Guilt, innocence…who cares? As long as some black kid gets shot dead. Why do we even NEED courts? I say we cut out the middle man and make cops (preferably white ones) judge, jury and executioner.

      • whatthe46 September 3rd, 2014 at 6:13 pm

        since when is “stealing” cigars a death penalty case?

  5. tiredoftea September 3rd, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    The first Supreme to get his law school degree from the hit TV series “Law & Order” offers his insightful commentary on justice and morality.

  6. Debbie Pineau September 3rd, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    That’s why we don’t have the Death Penalty here.

  7. Denise September 3rd, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    I do not want an innocent person to die, but some crimes are so horrific, the dp is called for. especially if it involves the weakest among us.

    • whatthe46 September 3rd, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      especially if it involves the weakest among us? a grown man or woman brutally murdered is no different than if it were a helpless child or elderly person. that’s another problem with the DP. look at jodi arias. look at how she brutally murdered Alexander, in a GOD awful manner and the DP was given in the first trial. then there’s susan smith, she murdered her own 2 children, among the weakest of society by strapping them down in a car and sending them into a lake to drown. she received life in prison. its not being fairly given and should be abolished. in some cases where the death penalty was an option, jurors have actually opted out for life based on the looks of the defendant found guilty of capital murder regardless of how horrific the crime. get rid of it. for these reasons and more.

  8. KarenJ September 3rd, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    I’m curious. Are these two mentally disabled half-brothers going to be somehow compensated for their wrongly judged and sentenced incarceration?

    They should be, because who’s going to take care of them? Now that they’re “free”? They’re less likely than the average middle-aged black man to get a job, or have a job, or keep a job, especially in North Carolina where the unemployment rate for blacks is more than twice that of whites.

    • whatthe46 September 3rd, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      at their age and given their disability, its highly unlikely they are employable. and trying to acclimate back into society is going to be a struggle after decades of being locked in a cage. the touch tone phone probably just came out when they went in.

    • Chinese Democracy September 4th, 2014 at 1:29 am

      Some states – and the federal government in some circumstances – now offer compensation to exonorees. Many do not. Those that do not currently offer compensation to the wrongfully convicted are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming.

  9. Elliot J. Stamler September 3rd, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    I strongly support the death penalty. The only thing I like about Texas is that they do execute killers. I would like the death penalty to be expanded not abolished. That said the argument that it should be abolished because of the extraordinarily rare case of an innocent person executed to me is illogical. The way to get around that problem which in this cited case is the very rare exception is to provide that the death penalty can not be imposed unless there is CERTAIN and IRREFUTABLE evidence of guilt. That is NOT the same thing as the jury verdict of guilt beyond reasonable doubt. Scalia may have been subsequent to 2006 to have been proven wrong but his fundamental point is that the abolitionists’ claims are VASTLY overstated. It won’t be the first time Scalia is wrong, God knows, but even he is occasionally (remarkably) right. The majority of the American people definitely support capital punishment, certainly with the proviso I’ve suggested above, and all of the abolitionists and simpering leftist criminal-lovers who weep for murderers and couldn’t care less for innocent victims, know it.

    • edmeyer_able September 3rd, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      Maybe you should do some research…..

    • Bunya September 3rd, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      “I strongly support the death penalty.”
      I’m sure you do. Killing is conservative Viagara. That’s why they’re always searching for a country full of innocent men, women and children to slaughter.

      “The only thing I like about Texas is that they do execute killers.”
      That’s because in Texas (contrary to popular pacifist belief) two wrongs DO make a right!

      “the death penalty can not be imposed unless there is CERTAIN and IRREFUTABLE evidence of guilt”
      Of course! The courts executed lots of people who they found to be CERTAINLY and IRREFUTABLY guilty – until it was discovered later they weren’t. Oooooops!

      “… simpering leftist criminal-lovers who weep for murderers…”
      And proud of it!

    • Rusty Shackleford September 3rd, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      You don’t see any hypocrisy in killing people for killing to prove that killing is wrong?

      • Elliot J. Stamler September 3rd, 2014 at 4:05 pm

        Killing per se is not wrong. Murder is wrong. The accurate translation of the Bible is: Thou shalt not murder. Justifiable homicide includes self-defense, defense of your nation in war, defense of your family and a number of other things. You are prepared to accommodate absolute evil because you are unable to acknowledge there is such a thing. There is and people who perpetrate it deserve to be killed.

        • Rusty Shackleford September 3rd, 2014 at 4:11 pm

          Are jurors or the judge defending themselves from a murderer who has been apprehended when they sentence him to death? Is the person administering the injection defending himself from the patient strapped down to the table and surrounded by armed guards?

          I do not acknowledge the existence of “absolute evil.” That’s a childish and stupid notion. No one is a Saturday morning cartoon villain. And it’s not very “accommodating” to lock up this hypothetical evil in prison indefinitely.

          And who do you trust to make this distinction of who does and does not deserve to be killed, exactly? That’s an awful lot of easily-abused power to give to anyone.

          • whatthe46 September 3rd, 2014 at 6:02 pm

            nicely put. rather, said.

    • cecilia September 3rd, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      “extraordinarily rare case of an innocent person executed” is unfortunately NOT so rare.
      and ONE innocent person killed is never worth it

      frankly, I think the best way for you to fully understand this is for you to be found guilty of a crime you did not commit……then face the frustration of hearing people like you shouting for the death penalty.

      • Elliot J. Stamler September 4th, 2014 at 1:51 am

        You apparently did not or can not read what I wrote with care. Probably the former because I strongly suspect you are adamantly against the death penalty even pronounced on someone who is unquestionably guilty by irrefutable evidence.

        • whatthe46 September 4th, 2014 at 5:06 am

          “…pronounced on someone who is unquestionably guilty by irrefutable evidence.” if that statement were in fact true, there wouldn’t be an argument on the matter right? right? that is unless you continue to disagree with true logic. unquestionably? why don’t you ask the men who were released (the 100 + men) from death row, or the jury who believed they were given the all of the evidence, how they feel? oh wait, some are dead, some won’t respond, the ones that have been murdered by the state can’t (the innocent ones) my o’ my. you hateful parasite. get mad. ask me if i care. fk’ head.

          • Elliot J. Stamler September 4th, 2014 at 11:52 am

            You know I normally would not further reply to a foul-mouthed ignoramus like you who curses me with profanity but I will simply write that if you were capable of thinking and had any knowledge you would know that a jury guilty verdict does not mean that the jury is certain or guilt or the inverse.
            A jury is presented we presume with all the available evidence but that evidence on its face is often not irrefutable…if you had any knowledge of criminal law or procedure you’d know that. In most homicide cases when there exists unquestionable or irrefutable evidence there is a plea bargain attempted by the defense. It may not be accepted by the prosecution or the court. Well, I will stop now. You go back to weeping over killers, child murderers, violent woman-hating rapists, terrorists who kill dozens to thousands of people all the other people you bleed for…I won’t respond with curses on you…I just hope you and your family face some of the human devils some night who are the type that wind up on death row. No use talking further about innocent victims of totally evil criminals, you and your ilk are so mentally warped you have no interest, compassion or emotional involvement with them.

          • Bunya September 4th, 2014 at 1:58 pm

            ” You go back to weeping over killers, child murderers, violent woman-hating rapists…”
            Sorry, I have no sympathy for you.

        • cecilia September 4th, 2014 at 4:47 pm

          years ago I figured that the ONLY people that could be executed were mass murderers who had been caught “red handed”. That is the evidence against them was SO overwhelming that there was no possibility of being wrong.

          Mass murderers tend to be people who never seem to “get better”…in fact they just escalate their need to kill.

          So, it Seems as if they would be the best candidates for the death penalty. I was still thinking about this and hadn’t made any sort of final decisions.

          This is just to let you know I have been thinking about this long and hard for many years. I don’t have some easy knee-jerk reaction.

          The only derision I have ever made that hasn’t changed in all this time is that NO innocent person should ever be killed. Ever.

          At some point I also realized that society thinking that it’s ok to kill people willy nilly is not something we should be proud of. Even if we make Absolutely sure that NO innocent person is killed, what is the real benefit of killing a guilty person?

          Sure, it gets them out of the way but what does that say about us? That we think it’s fine to kill for the sake of expediency?

          It’s already proven that the death penalty is not any sort of deterrence to crime.

          Revenge ??

          yeah, well, I understand revenge but face it…it’s not something society should be proud of. Shouldn’t we rise above that?

          The problem with killing the guilty is that we should instead be focusing on treatment, education and helping damaged people find better ways of solving their problems.

          I want society to take the high road and be Better

    • whatthe46 September 3rd, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      its outright ignorant to say leftist are criminal lovers. just plain ignorant. furthermore, we can’t know the exact number of men that have been sent to death row and the sentence carried out before DNA. and rest asure that every case that the jury has found evidence of guilt believed what they were told was accurate and therefore guilt was a given. “CERTAIN and IRREFUTABLE evidence of guilt.” before DNA that’s exactly what these jurors believed. and then there’s the fairness in the handing out of the DP. but, that too matters not to you.

      • Suzanne McFly September 3rd, 2014 at 7:41 pm

        Don’t cha just looooooove people who assume that if you don’t agree completely with what they believe, your some left-wing simpleton. If Elliot was ever taught critical thinking skills, he would realize the world is not black and white and many share views regardless of what party they are aligned with. But he wants to play victim and come here to spew crap, lets see how that works for him.

        • whatthe46 September 3rd, 2014 at 8:50 pm


    • Chinese Democracy September 4th, 2014 at 1:34 am

      The Innocence Project – DNA Exonerations Nationwide

      18 of the 317 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row … thats not “extraordinarily rare”

      Glenn Beck cultists are not the Majority of the people

      • whatthe46 September 4th, 2014 at 3:15 am

        again, what’s not taken into consideration is the number of men that were murdered via DP, before DNA. no one wants to admit that fact. the very men that were murdered by the DP, took the place of the bastard that actually commited the crime. but again, e-idiot doen’t give a damn.

  10. cwazycajun September 4th, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I belive in some cases the death penalty is needed ..but you better make dammed sure you have the right person ..and don’t do it because you have pressure on you or because of politics..or your own political ambitions..if there gonna convict someone and put them on death row use every means to make sure you have the right person…