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Judge Fine on the Constitutionality of 37.071

A courtroom observer reports that Judge Fine took judicial notice of more than 200 death row inmates exonerated, most due to DNA retests, which called into question many more cases where DNA was not available to retest.

The following are approximate quotes from Judge Fine:

I must decide what our evolving standards or decency are, such that society recognizes standard of fairness and liberty that a state might execute one or more innocent people so that people who are truly deserving of death can be executed.
Our country is more aware of executing innocent people. I don’t think anyone would be willing to allow an innocent be executed so that guilty can be executed.
With no other guidance from a higher court, this is the most difficult decision I’ve had to make. But I am not prepared to say our society is willing to let innocent people die so Texas can have a death penalty.

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