A new report has been published by Harvard Law School, and it should give anyone concerned about capital punishment in this country some food for thought.
As part of its "Fair Punishment Project," Harvard Law studied all those prosecutors in offices all across the country who prosecute capital crimes and have the power to seek the death penalty in these cases.
It’s only when a Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty is filed that capital punishment and killing the accused for his alleged crime becomes an issue. If the prosecutor doesn’t decide to ask for death, then it’s not on the table.
Harvard Report: Five Deadliest Prosecutors
The results of the Harvard study? They found that FIVE people tally up putting 440 individuals on Death Row. That’s right. Just 5 state attorneys — and they are spotlighted in this new report, "America’s Top Five Deadliest Prosecutors."
Four Men and One Woman and 440 Death Sentences
In case you’re wondering, none are from Florida; one is from Texas. The five are:
- Joe Freeman Britt — Robeson County, North Carolina (Lumberton);
- Donnie Myers — Lexington County, South Carolina (Lexington);
- Bob Macy — Oklahoma County, Oklahoma (Oklahoma City);
- Lynne Abraham of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia); and
- Johnny Holmes of Harris County, Texas (Houston).
Three More Prosecutors With High Death Penalty Conviction Rates
The report also offers the names of three more prosecutors who "… if they continue on their current trajectories, may soon join the ranks of the deadliest prosecutors in America." They are:
- Bernie De La Rionda — Duval County, Florida (Jacksonville);
- Jeannette Gallagher – Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix);
- Paul Ebert, Prince William County, Virginia (Manassas).