Death Penalty

U.S. Supreme Court


We support limiting the use of the death penalty to extremely heinous cases. We also support prohibiting the use of the death penalty based on eyewitness testimony, if there are less than three eyewitnesses or on the basis of a confession, unless the entire interrogation is video taped.

If you have already made up your mind, then scroll to the bottom of the page and take the poll to let us know how you feel. If you need to hear more, please read the background section below.


The use of DNA based evidence in criminal forensics has provided incontrovertible proof that we sometimes sentence innocent people to death. Numerous other studies have also demonstrated that eye witness testimony can be inaccurate and that innocent people will sometimes confess to crimes they have not committed. 

However, there is a natural reluctance to ban the use of the death penalty for certain, especially heinous, crimes.

A Proposal for a New Burden of Proof in Capital Punishment Cases

We suggest a compromise: establish a new burden of proof for death penalty cases, that exceeds “beyond a reasonable doubt” and call it “beyond all doubt” or something similar. The criteria for this new burden of proof would be similar to “beyond a reasonable doubt” but would exclude convictions based on eye witness identifications of less than three witnesses. It would also exclude convictions based on confessions that are not accompanied by video recordings of the entire interrogation.

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