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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: February ::
Re: New York Times
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0548  Monday, 25 February 2002

[1]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Saturday, 23 Feb 2002 11:39:57 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0503 Re: New York Times Articles

[2]     From:   Brandon Toropov <
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        Date:   Sunday, 24 Feb 2002 04:46:49 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: NYT Arts and Leisure Letters to the Editor page 2-24


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Saturday, 23 Feb 2002 11:39:57 -0500
Subject: 13.0503 Re: New York Times Articles
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0503 Re: New York Times Articles


An example of the Times's lack of intellectual honesty can be found in
today's editorial on the death penalty.  The Times says "a team at
Columbia University unearthed the fact that fully 68 percent of all
death sentences reviewed by appellate courts between 1973 and 1995 had
been reversed for serious error."  A lay reader could conclude from this
that 68% of defendants sentenced to death were found to be innocent.  In
fact, hardly any (if any at all) were incorrectly convicted.  In most
cases, the "serious errors" were technical quibbles about procedure
resulting in either a new trial or a re-sentence to life imprisonment.
Appellate courts (perhaps understandably) are more inclined to split
hairs when the death penalty is involved and most of these "errors"
would have been disregarded if the sentence had been imprisonment or a
fine.  That accounts for the high percentage of reversals, not some
perverse bloodthirsty compulsion of trial courts to put innocent people
to death.  The Times does not mention any of this.

An intellectually honest argument might be made against the death
penalty.  But the Times does not make one when it scares its readers
into believing that most people sentenced to death are innocent.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Brandon Toropov <
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Date:           Sunday, 24 Feb 2002 04:46:49 -0800 (PST)
Subject:        Re: NYT Arts and Leisure Letters to the Editor page 2-24

Bravo Dave Kathman and Terry Ross!

Brandon

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