Argument: Exoneration from death row is not proof of innocence

Issue Report: Death penalty

Extended argument

This is a counter-argument to the contention frequently posed by death-penalty opponents that over over one-hundred death row convicts have been exonerated from death row between 1973 and 2005, and that this demonstrates that innocent people have been sentenced to death. Supporters of the death penalty have pointed out the detail that those exoncerated from death row may not actually be innocent, but that – consistent with Western laws of “innocence until proven quilty” – there may simply be a lack of proof that they are guilty. This argument only goes so far as to attempt to reduce the significance of the anti-death penalty claim that innocent citizens are being put to death by mistake.[1]