What killed Justice Scalia

There is not "a single case - not one - in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit".

There is no case where a prisoner has been executed where it is clear that the prisoner was not a communist.

The full quote makes more sense as it qualifies Justice Scalia's claim. Yet the error that puts the question in the first place is naive. Are there any cases where a man has been executed and later cleared of charges?

Hundreds, if not thousands, of course. Some of them are pretty famous:


Even in Scalia's group of people previously convicted by DNA evidence, operational errors are suspected in his reasoning.

You cannot claim that a lack of evidence is evidence of a lack; That's exactly what he says. How much diligence does someone work to confirm convictions of men who have already been executed? Are their investigations reasonable or are the barriers to success like uncooperative district attorneys or biased judges hindering the gathering of "clear" evidence?

I think you are sure to reject his quote as a whole, and particularly circumscribed as the biased remarks of a man with an agenda.

Strange thinking ♦

As @ rjzii's answer shows, "current cases" were mentioned in the current quote. Your only evidence of this answer was in 1927. Can you name some recent examples? Your communist connection is confusing. Your claim of "hundreds if not thousands" must be substantiated.


I think you will find most (all?) Of people on Skeptics. SE will agree that a lack of evidence is not evidence of a deficiency. We all wonder what the next "slam dunk proof" will be. Fingerprints were one, then video surveillance, then DNA. Someday some new evidence will put these guys to shame with their confidence. But what does all of this have to do with communism?

Doctor J.

I think he uses the communism quote to prove the error. Just because it is not "clear that the prisoner was not a communist" does not mean that it is certain that the prisoner was a communist. Just because it is not clear that the prisoner was not guilty does not mean that it is certain that the prisoner was guilty.

Sklivvz ♦

This answer rejects the point without addressing it. The lack of evidence says nothing - including whether Scalia's statement is right or wrong. Statements are always right or wrong, but we have little evidence. On this side, we don't care about the absolute truth (tm), just evidence. When you don't have evidence, it's common , here not to answer .