THE LA ROCHELLE TIMES

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Monday, October 3, 2011

States promise to un-execute the innocent

'Wrongly-terminated' to benefit from posthumous rights, states say

Alex Terrieur
La Lune de la presse internationale

AUSTIN, TEXAS

US states that still use the death penalty vowed to posthumously un-execute any inmate found to be innocent with new DNA evidence, sources reported to the La Rochelle Times on Monday. In a gesture of goodwill towards families of falsely executed prisoners the states will send a letter explaining the error and offering their apologies. The letters will also include a Declaration of Un-execution signed by the current governor of the state.

"We feel that unfairly executed inmates should also have the right to be un-executed," said South Carolina's state prison Superintendent Paul Bearer. "It's only fair to give the wrongly-terminated that right as a minimum. We recognize our error and would like to make it up to these families that have suffered by not having to pay taxes for these innocent inmates for so long."

The Declarations of Un-execution will allow those "wrongly-terminated" to receive all their original rights back after having lost them due to court sentencing. These would include the right to vote, the right to haunt and the right to owe taxes.

Organizations such as the ACLU applauded the move, particularly after high profile cases have recently come to light showing the need to reform the death penalty.

"This is an archaic and outdated form of punishment that puts the United States in line with other Third World nations," said ACLU spokesman Noam Moore.

"With over one in fifty US adults involved in the prison-industrial complex, we are glad to see concrete steps being taken to reduce the number of wrongfully executed inmates. We believe that superficial reforms and face-saving measures should be put forward by states in order to show the public that there is some change happening despite the obvious failure of the criminal justice system, particularly given the advanced state of corruption and mediocrity that currently plagues the American political and financial systems."

While agreeing to acknowledge wrongful executions, state lawmakers also promised to ramp up efforts at passing frivolous laws and regulations, particularly for the lower classes.

"We realize now the need to put in place draconian restrictions and incomprehensible legislation, in order to protect the innocent," said Georgia lawmaker Roy Altee in a talk with the La Rochelle Times. "Any and all natural and instinctive human behavior such as the need to survive, eat, reproduce and thrive, must be tamed. Not with education or constructive solutions, mind you, but with brute force codified law that leaves no wiggle-room for today's would-be evil-doers."

He added, "This of course applies to anyone making less than a seven-figure income, according to Section 8C of USC1023."

Families of the innocent victims of capital punishment will begin receiving their letters next week.

The La Rochelle Times obtained a sample letter from the Texas Bureau of Prisons:
(click to enlarge)

-LRT

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