Letters

Letters

Approximately 4 percent of death row inmates are innocent

SAN QUENTIN, CA - MARCH 13: In this handout photo provided by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, San Quentin's death lethal injection facility is shown before being dismantled at San Quentin State Prison on March 13, 2019 in San Quentin, California. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced today a moratorium on California's death penalty. California has 737 people on death row, the largest death row population in the United States. (Photo by California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via Getty Images)
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via Getty Images
San Quentin's death lethal injection facility before it was dismantled in San Quentin, Calif.

In his op-ed about the reprieve of California death row inmates (“Gavin Newsom’s death row betrayal,” Opinion, March 20), Jeff Jacoby fails to mention that a few of those reprieved inmates are probably innocent. A National Academy of Sciences study released in 2014 found that approximately 4 percent of death row inmates are innocent. By that math, as many as 30 of the 737 prisoners awaiting execution in California were wrongly convicted. The heinousness of the crimes cannot justify the execution of even one innocent person.

Paul Lauenstein

Sharon