Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The play "The Exonerated" - are any actually innocent?

"The Exonerated", the play, -  anti truth, anti victim: Are any actually innocent?
Dudley Sharp

originally published 2006,
last updated 7/11/2017, primarily updated links

This play is presented as a true story of six innocents sent to death row because of corruption within the system.

The Exonerated is a true story just as CATS and The Lion King are.

The "error rate" for anti death penalty folks, in their nationwide claims of  "exonerated or "innocent" released from death row is 70-83%, depending upon review (1), as with "The Exonerated".

Anti death penalty folks have, simply, redefined "innocence" and "exonerated" as if they had redefined lie as truth (1).

Reviews of each of "The Exonerated" cases, with links and contacts for your own review, below:

Are audiences being duped to further a political/social agenda? Of course. 

And theater critics?  They simply don't bother to fact check and blindly accept and repeat whatever the producers tell them.

Only one theater critic, Tom Sime of the Dallas Morning News, bothered to see if the claims were true. His brief review resulted in this published comment: 

 "Maybe three are actually innocent and three actually aren't.  In any case, blind faith - in the criminal justice process or in the truth of crusading art- is best left at home."

"The Exonerated" is strictly a bit of anti-death penalty deception, which is not at all surprising.  It appears that the Soros Foundation, through their Open Society Institute (OSI) is the primary benefactor of  "The Exonerated" . The Soros Foundation finances anti death penalty efforts, worldwide.

1) Robert Earl Hayes  Nothing about Hayes’ retrial changes the appeals court’s original observation that evidence existed to establish Hayes’ guilt.  Hayes has now been convicted of a nearly identical murder in New York, which was committed prior to the murder in Florida.

In 2004, Robert Hayes pled guilty to manslaughter and arson in a 1987 rape and murder in New York. He is now serving 15 to 45 years. He is also the prime suspect in rapes in Delaware and New Jersey.

Go to
2) Sunny Jacobs -- After the shooting, still at the scene of the murders, a trooper asked Jacobs: "Do you like shooting troopers?" Jacobs response:  "We had to."

The best review of the blatant dishonesty of this "Exonerated" case is "The Myth of Innocence", Josh Marquis, The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, v 95, No 2, Winter, 2005, Northwestern University School of Law.

Mr. Marquis can be reached at, or  503-791-0012.

There is no evidence to support a claim of innocence for Jacobs in the murder of two police officers in Florida. She eventually pled guilty to two counts of second degree murder and was released for time served, after 16 years. Hardly a finding of innocence.    

3) David Keaton --  Keaton's defense attorney stated that even without Keaton's numerous confessions, that the eyewitness testimony was likely sufficient to convict Keaton for the capital murder.

Through the testimony of numerous eyewitnesses, Keaton's numerous confessions, as well as those of co-defendants, Keaton was sentenced to death. There is no credible claim for innocence in this case of robbery/murder. The case was overturned on appeal. The prosecution chose not to re prosecute for a number of good reasons  --  1. he was no longer subject to the death penalty, because of changes in the law 2. Keaton was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a robbery that he committed ten days prior to the robbery/murder for which he was sentenced to death and 3. illness of witnesses.

Keaton was sentenced to death in 1971, under the old death penalty law. He was on death row for 13 months when the US Supreme Court overturned all death penalty cases in Furman v Georgia. By law, he could not be re-sentenced to death.

4) Delbert Tibbs -- The Florida Supreme Court candidly conceded that it should not have reversed Tibbs' conviction since the evidence was legally sufficient.

The state prosecutor who chose not to retry Tibbs  recently explained to the Florida Commission on Capital Crimes that Tibbs “was never an innocent man wrongfully accused. 

He was a lucky human being. He was guilty, he was lucky and now he is free." 

See no.10 at
and pages 131-135 at

5) Kerry Max Cook -- The judge, in accepting Cook's no contest plea, said that Cook was guilty of the crime and that the state was capable of proving its case.

This is not a DNA exoneration case.

Mr. Cook was convicted of the murder of Linda Jo Edwards, who was found in her apartment on June 10, 1977, beaten on the head with a plaster statue, stabbed in the throat, chest and back and sexually mutilated. Mr. Cook was arrested 2 months later where he worked as a bartender in Port Arthur. Officers said they found Mr. Cook's fingerprint on Ms. Edwards' apartment door. At first he denied knowing Ms. Edwards. Cook lied. He later said they met at the apartment complex's swimming pool and he went to her apartment. His original conviction resulting in a death sentence was overturned because of prosecutorial misconduct. 

A 1992 retrial ended in a hung jury. He was again convicted and sentenced to death in 1994. 

That verdict was overturned in 1996. Before a 4th trial, Mr. Cook pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of murder. He was sentenced to 20 years time served. Mr. Cook took the deal so he could avoid a possible return to death row. By taking the plea, both Cook and his attorneys conceded that this is hardly a case where there is no evidence for guilt and certainly not a case with confirmable actual innocence.

for more on this case, contact David Dobbs at

6) Gary Gauger -- Gauger confessed to the murder of his parents. That confession was thrown out based upon the lack of probable cause to arrest him. Gauger's ex-wife and children filed a wrongful death suit against Gauger in the murder of his parents. Gary's brother remains so convinced of Gary's guilt in the murders of their parents, that he has prepared a review of the case which claims to support Gary's guilt, even though there are now two other people jailed for the murders and who, confessed, in detail (Gang Member Details Slaying Of Couple, Carolyn Starks, Chicago Tribune, 3/9/1999,

The trial court erroneously imposed a death sentence. The court granted a motion for reconsideration and vacated the sentence less than ten months later in September 1994. The trial court found that it had not considered all the mitigating evidence and concluded that Gauger should not be sentenced to death. People v. Bull, 705 N.E.2d 824, 843 (Ill. 1999); Chicago Tribune (9/23/94). Gauger served a brief time on death row. He was not properly sentenced to death by the trial court. He should never have been sent to death row because the trial court did not finally sentence him to be executed. Gauger’s case is an example of how consideration of mitigating evidence under current law results in a sentence less than death.

see no. 69 at 

Some additional articles:

"The Myth of Innocence", Josh Marquis, The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, v 95, No 2, Winter, 2005, Northwestern University School of Law.

"Cross-Examination for a Drama That Puts the Death Penalty on Trial",  Adam Liptak,  New York Times, January 27, 2005

"Prosecutors take exception to Court TV film", Richard Willing, USA TODAY, 1/24/05\

"The Myth of Innocence don’t believe everything you see on CourtTV",  Joshua Marquis, National Review, 1/27/05

Senate Report, Volume 2, 107th Congress, 2nd Session, Numbers 292-350, January 23- November 22, 2002,
a. DPIC List: False Claims of Innocents, p 65-69
1. Time Frame:  Relevance of DPIC List To Current Death Penalty Procedures, p 113-114
2. The Concept of "Actual Innocence", p 114-118
c. Cases on DPIC List: Actually Innocent or Falsely Exonerated, p 118-146.
" . . . the following 68 defendants should be stricken from the current DPIC List of 102 allegedly innocent defendants 'freed from Death Row'. " p 118

1)   The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy

Monday, February 24, 2014

Gandhi "eye for an eye leaves everybody blind"

"An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind":
Zero evidence that Gandhi said it
Dudley Sharp

The quote has never been sourced to Gandhi.

The quote should be attributed to Graham (below), with a correction against Gandhi's use

Fischer (below) suggested it as a philosophical principle of Gandhi, with zero attribution to Gandhi, which is where, I believe, this error started.

In the movie Gandhi, Briley, a screenwriter, put those words in Gandhi's mouth, for the fictional history.

Gandhi wouldn't have said it, because he wouldn't so pervert Christian text and its meaning. 

With zero evidence provided, Gandhi's family says (2006) that he did use it, confirming their belief that Gandhi misunderstood Christian scripture, something I think, highly, unlikely.

The actual meaning of the biblical text is that sanctions for crimes/sins shall be just and proportional to the wrongful act, as opposed to the wildly disproportionate and harsh sanctions of the past.

It was a call for more merciful and proportional sanctions.

There seems no chance that Gandhi would so misinterpret or pervert Christian scripture. 

It's a unfortunate reflection on Gandhi that many believe that he could make such an error and that, even worse, they do so with no evidence that Gandhi said it and, furthermore, to take it from the rightful author, George Graham, a politician, much more likely to make that error.

This, below, giving a timeline and attribution. from Wikileaks, all of which I have confirmed.

1914: "If…we were to go back to…'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,' there would be very few [Honourable] Gentlemen in this House who would not…be blind and toothless." — George Perry Graham, during a debate on capital punishment before the Canadian House of Commons. Official Report of the Debates of the House of Commons of the Dominion of Canada, Third Session-Twelfth Parliament, Vol CXIII, p. 496, February 5, 1914.

1950: "An-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye ... ends in making everybody blind" in The Life of Mahatma Gandhi by Louis Fischer (1950), though Fischer did not attribute it to Gandhi and seemed to be giving his own description of Gandhi's philosophy.

Sharp note: I think this is were the error started.

1958: "The old law of an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind" in Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story by Martin Luther King, Jr., 1958.

1982: "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind" in the 1982 film, Gandhi. In a 1993 biographical article about screenwriter John Briley, Jon Krampner wrote, "…Gandhi never said it. Michigan graduate John Briley put those pithy words in his mouth." From "John Briley '51 - Epic Screenwriter", Michigan Today, March 1993, p. 12.

Sharp note: And that is where the error became more well distributed.

2006: There is a quaternary source in Yale Book of Quotations (2006), in which editor Fred R. Shapiro states that the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence stated that Gandhi's family believes it authentic, but did not provide any further reference and provided no year, place or body of work.

2006: Discussed in The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When, by Ralph Keyes (2006), 1st ed., p. 74.

2010: Research detailed by Garson O'Toole in "An Eye for an Eye Will Make the Whole World Blind" in Quote Investigator.

The quote has never been sourced to Gandhi.

Judaism & the Death Penalty

Judaism & the Death Penalty
Dudley Sharp

Another, of so many examples, whereby anti death penalty folks are wrong, on everything.


Additional Death Penalty Support, Judaism (5) 

Another view of the death penalty, 

by Dudley Sharp, Jerusalem Post, published 03/19/2009

Innocents are better protected with capital punishment (1).

There are some clear problems with "Fabulously Observant: Jews and the death penalty," by David Benkof (JP, March 12, 2009).

Rabbi Avi Shafran gave a common answer as to why a great many Jewish faith groups oppose the death penalty:

"Jews have all too often found themselves on the wrong side of the administration of capital punishment - often for the sole 'crime' of being Jewish."

Sadly, true.

However, the fact that Jews have been wrongly executed doesn't mean that Jews cannot morally and rightly execute wrongdoers. An obvious example: Jews have been wrongly incarcerated, in just the same shameful manner, yet, Jews are not opposed to justly incarcerating those who violate the law.

Jewish talk show host Dennis Prager is correct, "capital punishment for murder is the only law that exists in all five books of the Torah."

In other words, to God, implementing the death penalty for murder is a very big deal. If that is the case, why do so many Jewish faith groups oppose it?

Rabbi Shafran ended, "That many a convicted criminal in the United States has later been exonerated by evidence or testimony only adds to the reluctance."


In the US, of those sentenced to death since 1973 or later, possibly 25 actual innocents have been identified and released from death row.  (2) That is 0.3% of those so sentenced. There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since 1900. Of all the government programs in the world that put innocents at risk, is there one with a safer record and with greater protections than the US death penalty? Unlikely.

In fact, innocents are better protected with the death penalty (1).

BENKOF ADDS, "... two individuals had to witness the capital crime (3), and there had to be a 'kosher' warning before the act took place."(3).

That was only for Jews. For all others, one witness would suffice and no warning was necessary.


added later

Today, we have many more methods of identification, which far surpass the accuracy of eyewitnesses.

There are the translation variables, whereby a witness and to bear witness may both be included, meaning no eyewitnesses may be required, but other evidence may be sufficient, such as private or public confessions, ear witnesses, physical evidence of guilt, inclusive of today's DNA, videotape, fingerprints, tire patterns, footprints, ballistics, etc., some of which can be or are more accurate than eyewitness testimony (3). As biblical linguistic expert Prof. Archer observed: "Did God want nearly all criminals, including murderers, to get off, scot-free, if " . . . (they) had not taken the prudent measure of committing (their) crime where two people did not happen to be watching him?" (3)


Benkof continues, "The Talmud says that any court that imposed death on a convict once in seven years - or even once in 70 - was considered a 'bloody' court."

This is a common and unfortunate recitation since it excludes the response of a later Talmudic sage, Rabbi Simon ben Gamliel: "Such an attitude (allowing murderers to live) would increase bloodshed in Israel."(1)

In other words, by letting murderers live, you only embolden more murderers - an important omission by Benkof.

Benkof continues: "Finally, there is the issue of the humaneness of the death penalty. Under Jewish law, capital convicts would be given alcohol until they were intoxicated, so they would suffer less."

Suffer less? There were four methods of execution. If Jewish law were concerned with less suffering, why not pick only the least painful method? Why four, when three will always be worse than the fourth?

In fact, all four were horrendous. (added, later. stoning, burning, slaying (by sword), and strangling).

Benkof continues: "In the American system, convicts are first given a paralytic, so if they do suffer under the consequent two lethal drugs, they cannot express their pain. And there is significant evidence that they do suffer."

Benkof is factually in error. The paralytic is given second. The first drug given is a massive dose of barbiturate or other anesthesia, leaving the inmate in a coma state. Almost exclusively, the "evidence" of suffering with lethal injection is of the "maybe," "might," "could be" variety (4).

Benkof concludes: "But ultimately, it seems to me that life in prison without parole is a better option than the death penalty - in Israel, North America and throughout the world."

It would be helpful if (Benkof) would give a good reason why.

End of article. 

Judaism & Death Penalty support (5)

Footnotes, added later

1) The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter?: A Review of All Innocence Issues

2) Death Row, "Exonerations", Media  & Intentional Fraud 

3)  Is There a Biblical Requirement for Two Eyewitnesses for Criminal Prosecution?

The Death Penalty & Medical Ethics Revisited 

b) The (Imagined) Horror of Dennis McGuire's Execution - updated 2/12/2014 

Additional Death Penalty Support, Judaism


"Only especially vile murderers - such as false witness whose lies are discovered after the person who was framed has been executed, or a man who sacrifices both his son and his daughter to the pagan god Molokh - are denied execution because they are regarded as beyond redemption through capital punishment."

"Again, execution preserves human dignity, it does not defile it."

"...[T]he preservation of human dignity requires capital punishment of convicted murderers. The position of Judaism is opposite of the position espoused by liberals."

"It is precisely because of man's creation in God's image that capital punishment is declared justified and necessary. Human dignity requires execution of murderers, not compassion for their souls."

"Judaism's Pro-Death Penalty Tradition", Steven Plaut, PhD, Haifa University, Apr. 23, 2004 article for

b)   " (B)ecause murder is a grievous offense, both against God and against society." And when you punish a murderer through the death penalty, you are not only affording that person penance for his or her crime, in all of the contexts of death penalty transgressions or other penalties that are imposed upon criminals in traditional Jewish law, the punishment is viewed as a component of the transgressor's penance. (my emphaisis)."

"But in the context of murder, because it's also a crime against society, it's critical for the welfare of society. This is a traditional Jewish understanding of why it is imposed...".

"We're not about to take the position of abolition [of the death penalty], because the teaching that, again, the need for implementing justice, particularly with regard to crimes of murder, for society, is a critical component of Jewish teaching as well."

"Murder, is actually singled out in rabbinic teaching from all those other scores of transgressions and sins where the death penalty is proscribed...".

"Religious Reflections on the Death Penalty", Nathan Diament, JD, Director of the Institute for Public Affairs of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, June 5, 2001 appearance at the Pew Forum's event

c) Rabbi Azriel Rosenfeld at

68. Murderer and Protection of Life - Rotze'ach u-Shemiras Nefesh

It is forbidden to murder, as it says "You shall not murder".1 

A murderer must be put to death, as it says "He shall be avenged"2;

it is forbidden to accept compensation from him instead, as it says "You shall not take redemption for the life of a murderer...; and there shall be no atonement for the blood that was spilled... except the blood of him that spilled it".3

It is forbidden to execute a murderer before he has stood trial, as it says "And the murderer shall not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment".4 

However, we are commanded to prevent an attempted murder by killing the would-be murderer if necessary, and it is forbidden to refrain from doing so, as it says "And you shall cut off her hand; you shall not be merciful"5;  (my emphasis)

and similarly for attempted fornication, as it says "[If the man seizes her and lies with her...] just as a man rises up against his friend and murders him, so is this thing."6 

It is forbidden to refrain from saving life when it is in one's power to do so, as it says "You shall not stand on your friend's blood."7, a

1. Ex. 20:13; Deut. 5:17 
2. Ex. 21:20; see Lev. 24:17,21
3. Num. 35:31,33
4. Num. 35:12 d.
5. Deut. 25:12
6. Deut. 22:26
7. Lev. 19:16 a. 1:1,4-11,14 

From Halacha Overview,

d)  "Rabbi Samuel ben Meir (Rashbam) and Rabbi Joseph Bekhor-Shor, explained at great length that the Hebrew text refers only to unlawful killing. Both scholars stressed the differences between the Hebrew words for killing and murdering."

"There are several strong arguments for the case that the sixth commandment should be translated as "Thou shalt not murder." First, the verb used in the Torah commandment is "ratsah," which generally is translated as murder and refers only to criminal acts of killing a human being. The word "kill" generally refers to the taking of life for all classes of victims and for all reasons. This generalization is expressed through a different Hebrew verb "harag."

Sharp: The command could never refer to all killing, because God permits, condones or commands killing in self defense, defense of others, in a just war and with capital punishment for up to 36 sins/crimes.

Is the Sixth Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” or “Thou Shalt Not Murder”?, The Times Of Israel, 12/1/2017


Some Christian context

As, virtually, all biblical scholars know, a number of bible translations already have, correctly, changed to "thou shalt not murder" and more are to follow (1).

Anyone, with just a casual knowledge of the bible is aware that killing is prescribed and some times commanded in certain circumstances, so the translation or the meaning cannot be understood as prohibiting all killings.

It is well known to all biblical scholars that the meaning, as well as many proper translations, is "thou shalt not murder", as with the context, soon after that command, God  introduces 33-36 crimes/sins for which the death penalty is appropriate.

In addition, all major Christian and Jewish denominations find that killing in self defense, in defense of others, in a just war  are all defensible, under morally defined circumstances, as when killing an unjust aggressor, with similar moral support for executions.

For more than 2000 years, there has been Catholic/Christian New Testament support for the death penalty, from Popes, Saints, Doctors and Fathers of the Church, church leadership, biblical scholars and theologians that, in breadth and depth, overwhelms any teachings to the contrary (2).

1) Many different examples of the translation, as well as the context

2) Hundreds of New Testament Christian teachings in support of the death penalty, here:

New Testament Death Penalty Support Overwhelming

Catholics & The Death Penalty:
Critical Dismay:  The Catholic Church's Latest (2018-19)
Death Penalty Catechism Amendment