The Innocent Executed: Deception & Death Penalty Opponents – DRAFT
Dudley Sharp
DRAFT – This is an early draft.  You are free to distribute. But, please, include these statements.  Dudley Sharp
These are a sample of cases that some anti death penalty folks present as innocents executed.  Generally speaking, anti death penalty folks only show the defense side of the case or they present material, so ridiculous, not even the defense would offer it.
These reviews are offered as a balance to those anti death penalty presentations.
There are, at least, two sides to every debate. Avail yourself of reviewing, at least two contrasting positions, so you can make a, somewhat, informed decision.
It is arguable, if not definitive, that had the media been thorough, in the beginning, none of the cases would have become a cause celebre, sometimes lasting for decades.
1) Roger Keith Coleman
The classic Cause Celebre, anti death penalty case is put together like this: Imagine facts that evidence won’t support, but make it real, anyway. And keep it going for years and years. (1) Jim McCloskey spent 14 years championing Coleman’s innocence. Create a case of an innocent executed and the media will come.  And, boy, did they.
Here is McCloskey’s assessment of the state’s case against Coleman:
“The (state’s) case was built on innuendos and lies and ludicrous, insane theory that falls flat in the face of common sense.” (2)
This is a classic quote of anti death penalty infamy: Mr. McCloskey, look in the mirror.  Coleman’s guilt was confirmed by DNA.
For some time, Coleman’s defense team concentrated on the “real murderer”, with whom they, later, had to make an out of court settlement
2) Ruben Cantu
In the Matter of Juan Moreno: Investigation Relating to The State of Texas v. Ruben Cantu, Cause No. 85-CR-1303, 6/26/2007
3) Roger O’Dell – another worldwide cause celebre (AWCC)
Paragraph III, Subparagraphs a-d, Death Of Truth:  Sister Prejean’s book The Death Of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions.
 from “Sister Helen Prejean & the death penalty: A Critical Review”, 1995–the-death-penalty-a-critical-review.aspx
4) Gary Graham – AWCC
5) Larry Griffin
Report defends 1995 Missouri execution, USA Today, 7/12/07
“After a 24-month investigation by the Circuit Attorney and her Team (CAO Team), no credible information was been discovered from any source that supported claims of innocence.  Joyce believes the evidence against Griffin is even stronger today than it was at the time of the trial in 1980.”
“Investigation Confirmed Jury’s Conviction of Larry Griffin – Additional Eyewitness Located” , July 12, 2007  
6) Carlos De Luna
I read the Chicago Tribune articles on this case and found them to be in the category of  advocacy journalism, as occurred in all of these cases. Time may tell.
Here is a review of the credibility of De Luna’s most public supporter.
“At the Death House Door” Can Rev. Carroll Pickett be trusted?”
7) Sacco and Vanzetti – AWCC
Even though their guilt was known, anti death penalty folks allowed riots and other violence to take place, based upon the fraud of their innocence.
“Sacco and Vanzetti: Guilty After All?”
Of all of those proclaiming the innocence of Sacco and Vanzetti, by far, the most famous was author and activist Upton Sinclair. Sinclair met with Sacco and Venzetti’s defense counsel, who told Sinclair that they were both guilty and that he had concocted all the alibis.  The letter indicates why Sinclair didn’t expose that conversation.
“My wife is absolutely certain that if I tell what I believe, I will be called a traitor to the movement and may not live to finish the book,” Sinclair wrote Robert Minor, a confidant at the Socialist Daily Worker in New York, in 1927.
“He also worried that revealing what he had been told would cost him readers. “It is much better copy as a naive defense of Sacco and Vanzetti because this is what all my foreign readers expect, and they are 90% of my public,” he wrote to Minor.” Even knowing this, Sinclair, published “Boston”, a novel which was a novelized version of the Sacco and Vanzetti case and which proclaimed them innocents murdered by the capitalist system – the mantra of  leftists supporting S&V.
There was much violence, worldwide, based upon the presumption that both Sacco and Vanzetti were innocents railroaded by the US.  Sinclair, as others, throughout, withheld this knowledge. Despicable.
“Sinclair Letter Turns Out to Be Another Expose”, Jean O. Pasco, LA Times, December 24, 2005
Ideale Gambera, whose father was a Boston anarchist in the 1920s, said there was a strict code of silence to protect the group (anarchists) and hide the nature of their activities. He said his father, Giovanni Gambera, a member of the Sacco-Vanzetti Defense Committee, told him before he died in 1982 that Sacco was one of the killers.”They all lied,” said Gambera, a retired English professor living in San Rafael. “They did it for the cause.”
8) Julius and Ethel Rosenberg – AWCC
For decades and internationally, one of the biggest “innocent” executed cases.
The Venona Intercepts, 1995
The US Government has direct evidence of Julius Rosenberg, and others’, involvement with the Soviet’s, as spies for atomic secrets, with intercepted communications between the Soviet’s and some of their US spies, from 1944. These intercepts were released in 1995. Ethel is not mentioned. However, there was more than enough evidence that she, at least, knew of his spying and chose not to report it, enough for a conspiracy. However, they both had ample time to come forward and proclaim her innocence and, to, at least, save one parent for their children. They chose not to, a strong indicator of their guilt and devotion to the cause.
Anti death penalty “innocence” deceptions are part of a pattern. This one, below, is ongoing. Media fact checking could end this scam, today.
Dudley Sharp
e-mail,  713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas
Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O’Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.
A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.

2 thoughts on “The Innocent Executed: Deception & Death Penalty Opponents – DRAFT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *