Recent news, I think, brings up a valid reason to discuss the death penalty anew (we've not had the topic discussed as a thread since March) Today (still Sept 21 here), the state of Georgia executed [link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troy_Davis_case]Troy Davis[/link]. He was sentenced to death after the 1989 murder of an off duty police officer working as a security guard. When he was on trial in 1991, there were 9 eyewitnesses that claimed to see some part of what occurred. Since then, however, 7 of the eyewitnesses have fully or partially retracted what they said. This includes 2 that said they felt pressured to identify Davis as the shooter, or were threatened if they didn't identify him, to avoid facing charges themselves. Three more have also said that they felt subjected to strong-arm tactics from the police to identify Davis. One of the witnesses who has not changed story at all is Redd Coles, and there are three signed affidavits from people saying that Coles admitting to actually being the shooter. The whole duration, Davis had stated he was innocent, and there was no forensic evidence tying him to the murder, only the eyewitnesses. Due to anti-terrorism laws, the above evidence was prevented from being presented in court during appeals. The resulting questions, I feel, are did the state of Georgia just execute a man that was innocent, and how does this effect the legitimacy of the death penalty? Personally speaking, I think this all highlights the fundamental problem with the death penalty. It has a result that is permanent, severe, and can not be undone on any level if there is either a mistake or abuse of the system. That there is the strong chance he was innocent highlights that the death penalty shouldn't be in place because it's giving government an extreme amount of power and ignoring that said government can't wield that power unerringly.