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Study & Research The Death Penalty

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“Regardless of their views on the moral or practical value of capital punishment, many Americans are now questioning the accuracy of convictions that lead to death sentences.”

—Facts On File News Service

In 1982, nineteen-year-old Rebecca Williams was raped and murdered in her Virginia apartment. In the last minutes of her life, Williams was able to tell police that her attacker was a black man. Investigators eventually fingered Earl Washington Jr., an African American in his twenties who was arrested for an unrelated break-in and assault one year after the young woman’s murder. When interrogated, Washington quickly confessed to the burglary, assault, rape, and homicide of Williams. Although he was found to have an IQ of 69—the mental level of a ten-year-old—Washington was convicted and sentenced to death in 1984.

Washington had served more than nine years on death row when early...

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This section contains 1,045 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Death Penalty Encyclopedia Article
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The Death Penalty from Greenhaven. ©2001-2006 by Greenhaven Press, Inc., an imprint of The Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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