Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Balko’s Innocence Roundup

Over at Reason’s Hit and Run blog, Radley Balko has a roundup of five more instances of wrongly convicted people finally getting released from prison after being proven innocent. The five men spent a collective 89 years in prison. Four out of five were convicted on the basis of false eyewitness testimony. Our criminal justice system is broken from top to bottom.


  1. #1 Roman
    November 29, 2009

    Let’s start with the fact that we lock up a far higher percentage of our population than any other first world nation

    You’ve got a point here.

    and yet continue, despite 20 years of nearly steady declines, to lead the world in most categories of crime.

    Certainly in murder statistics (I think that this is mostly due to the lack of gun control in your country), rape statistics and assault. It certainly doesn’t paint a nice picture of the effectiveness of the US justice system. However, it is not a direct proof of it being corrupt, it may be simply ineffective.

    But frankly, I don’t care whether it’s better or worse than any other nation

    You should, if you’re interested in fixing the problems instead of just whinging (sorry, expressing moral outrage :P) about it. This is because comparing the US system to other developed countries’ systems can help you determine whether the observed failures are simply a statistical effect (as in: once in a while, somebody gets corrupt or people make a mistake because they are just people), or a symptom of a systemic deficiency.

    Also, the inability of either you or DuWayne to present some statistical data about the claimed deficiencies of the US justice systems shows, in my opinion, that neither of you has gone beyond the whinging stage to the rational analysis.

    Feel free to refute my statement by presenting the data 😉

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