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I am not a US citizen (though my wife is), so I can’t vote in the US presidential election anyway. And I support the death penalty in very limited circumstances.

But I could not vote for Rick Perry, much as his conduct and policies are admirable in other areas, because it seems to me likely that in order to appear tough on crime, he allowed to be executed at least one man he knew, or ought to have known, was innocent.

I remember seeing the film Judgement at Nuremburg when I was a child. Even at about eight years old, I was struck by an exchange between the American judge and one of the German prisoners (former judges under Hitler).

I may be remembering it incorrectly – it was forty-five years ago – but what I remember is the prisoner saying “I never thought it would come to this,” and the judge responding “It came to this the first time you sentenced an innocent man to death.”

If you allow a man you know is likely to be innocent to be put to death, you are not someone who should be leading a state or nation, no matter how strong your economic credentials.

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