The death penalty: NATIONAL VOICES"The first time I voted for the death penalty, I thought of the law as majestic and that there was very little chance of a mistake. Then you grow up. Look at the DNA evidence - you realize that people can make terrible mistakes."
- New York State Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol (D), Washington Post, April 13, 2005
"I have always opposed the death penalty. Although both my husband and my mother-in-law were murdered, I refuse to accept the cynical notion that their killer deserves the death penalty."
- Coretta Scott King
"I think Michigan made a wise decision 150 years ago (when the state abolished capital punishment). We're pretty proud of the fact that we don't have the death penalty."
- Former Michigan Governor John Engler (R), New York Times, September 22, 2000
"Has an innocent man ever been executed? Probably. The judicial system is designed to promote fairness, but anyone who expects perfection is asking for an impossibility. Any revamping might make the system better, but because human nature is involved, it won't make it perfect."
- Jim Willett, former Texas Death Row Warden who presided over 89 executions, Washington Post, May 13, 2001
"They are all consuming. They demand not just due process, but super due process."
- North Carolina District Attorney Jim Kimel on death penalty cases, which he says strain the justice system. They make up less than 1% of his caseload, but devour 1/3 of its resources. The News & Record, North Carolina, August 8, 2000
"If statistics are any indication, the system may well be allowing some innocent defendants to be executed."
- former United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Associated Press, July 2, 2001
"I continue to think that the process is deeply flawed. It posits a very high likelihood that no innocent person is convicted, which I no longer believe to be true."
- Federal Judge Jed S. Rakoff, whose brother was murdered in the Philippines in 1985, New York Times, January 2, 2005
"I really question whether the death penalty is worth having in terms of time and money. It has warped our court system. I think the time has come to decide whether it's worth the cost."
- Burley Mitchell, former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and a long time death penalty supporter, The News & Record, North Carolina, August 8, 2000
"As a member of the New York Senate from 1966 to 1989, I voted 12 times to establish the death penalty in New York. I regret my votes in favor of the death penalty."
- John R. Dunne, former Assistant Attorney General under President George Bush and former New York State Senator (R), Daily News, April 10, 2005