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Some courts have now taken the position that it is permissible for executions to go forward even in the face of considerable doubt about the defendant's guilt.
The Center 's report listed 48 defendants who had been released from death row in the prior 20 years because of subsequently discovered evidence of innocence.
The growing number of additional cases in the ensuing years has prompted us to issue another report.
This report particularly looks at the dramatic narrowing of the opportunity to appeal and to raise newly discovered evidence of one's innocence.
The federal funding for the death penalty resource centers, which helped discover and vindicate several of the innocent people cited in this report, has been completely withdrawn.
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Perhaps the bleakest fact of all is that the death penalty is imposed not only in a freakish and discriminatory manner, but also in some cases upon defendants who are actually innocent. Brennan, Jr., 19941 Executive Summary The danger that innocent people will be executed because of errors in the criminal justice system is getting worse.A total of 69 people have been released from death row since 1973 after evidence of their innocence emerged.Twenty-one condemned inmates have been released since 1993, including seven from the state of Illinois alone.Many of these cases were discovered not because of the normal appeals process, but rather as a result of new scientific techniques, investigations by journalists, and the dedicated work of expert attorneys, not available to the typical death row inmate.This report tells the stories of people like Rolando Cruz, released after 10 years on Illinois's death row, despite the fact that another man had confessed to the crime shortly after his conviction; and Ricardo Aldape Guerra, who returned to Mexico after 15 years on Texas's death row because of a prosecution that a federal judge called outrageous and designed to simply achieve another notch on the prosecutor's guns.In 1993, the Death Penalty Information Center was asked by Representative Don Edwards, then Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, to prepare a report on the problem of innocent people on death row.