Kimberly Burge paints a harrowing portrait of injustice in “The Innocence List” (April 2012). The fact that there are more than 140 people who were released from death row due to a lack of evidence and racial discrimination is alarming. How many innocent people have been wrongly executed over the past 35 years?
In November 1980, the U.S. Catholic bishops issued a statement on capital punishment that called for an end to the death penalty. They rightfully advocated that capital punishment was not a crime deterrent, but a deterrent to the existence of humanity.
The stories of victims such as Juan Roberto Meléndez and Shujaa Graham (a Witness to Innocence member who was framed for a 1973 murder he did not commit) call to mind the evils of racial profiling. However, having met Graham at a theology conference last year, I can attest that he is a true witness to the power of Christian forgiveness. Not bitter about his prison experiences, he expresses more concern for the welfare of future generations of children, knowing that there will one day be justice born out of injustice.
Robert P. Russo