In the spring of 2000, a team of lawyers and criminologists headed by Prof. James Liebman released the first phase of their study on the death penalty in the United States. The study showed that the American system of capital punishment was "riddled" with unfairness and incompetence, with serious errors erupting with alarming frequency at every stage of the process. In February of 2002, the second phase was released examining the causes for the frequent mistakes in death penalty cases, and possible solutions to remedy the situation. Researchers identified three main errors that often lead to erroneous convictions: incompetent legal counsel, police officers or prosecutors who suppressed evidence and judges who gave jurors the wrong instructions. The study also suggested that the errors that permeate throughout the system also leave killers at large, exacerbate suffering, waste tax dollars and deprive citizens of the high quality of justice, which they expect and deserve. !.
In conclusion, the study found that "the more often officials use the death penalty, the wider the range of crimes to which it is applied, and the more it is imposed for offenses that are not highly aggravated, the greater the risk of capital convictions and sentences will be seriously flawed." The article implies that the emergence of new studies, such as Prof. Liebman's, discredit capital punishment as a flawless and effective system and will lead to a dramatic drop in pro-death penalty supporters, and eventually the reformation of the current capital punishment laws.
The Flawed System of Capital Punishment in the United States.
Capital punishment in the United States has been one of the most controversial issues over the past two and a half decades. Currently, 38 states enact capital punishment in response to the most "heinous of crimes". In previous years, the American public based their views strictly on the deterrent effects and cost effectiveness of the death penalty.