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USA: Fatal flaws: Innocence and the death penalty in the USA

, Index number: AMR 51/069/1998

This documents looks at how the death penalty in the USA can lead to the execution of innocent people due to a variety of factors including inadequate defence, the misconduct of the prosecution, unreliable witnesses and discrimination, particularly racial discrimination. The appeals process, seen by some as infallible, is fatally flawed and places an impossibly high burden of proof on the defendants. The document also contains several case histories of death row prisoners that illustrate many of the above points.

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