James is right to invoke Sir Humphrey’s Syllogism to explain the enthusiasm of some officials and some victims’ families for convicting and executing the innocent.
But Thomas Jefferson also had a relevant comment: “I tremble for my country when I remember that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
… for a crime he quite possibly didn’t commit.
… for a crime he’s innocent of, as likely as not. (Wikipedia here; the views of former Reagan/Bush FBI Director William Sessions – the key word is “intolerable” – here).
Yes, this case raises questions about the death penalty, though not ones that a moral cretin like Rick Perry will pay any attention to. But would it really be better to lock an innocent man up for the rest of his life? The deeper problem is a criminal justice system where “due process” produces infinite delay but where the doctrine of “finality of judgment” makes it impossible to review in any forthright manner cases where the wrong guy get bagged for the crime.
The notion that a man can be executed – or kept in a cage forever – because his lawyers failed to prove his innocence (after a flawed, but procedurally correct, initial conviction) ought to outrage everyone with a sense of natural justice.