By Mike Dougherty
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Officials with an anti-death penalty organization are hoping Pope Francis will use part of his time in Philadelphia to speak out against capital punishment.
The US is one of the world’s leaders in executions, ranking behind China, Iran and Iraq. Witness to Innocence executive director Leno Rose-Avila says it gives America a black eye.
He hopes Pope Francis reiterates his position against capital punishment.
“It’s the worst act that a government can do.” says Avila. “And it’s not the best of the United States.”
DNA evidence cleared Harold Wilson more than 16 years after he was convicted of murder.
“The judge sentenced me to three death penalties,” says Harold Wilson, “and I often wondered how they were going to kill me three times.”
He’s one of six Pennsylvanians to be exonerated. He says there have been far too many false convictions to proceed with this policy.
“We have no right as human beings to choose — black, white or other — who lives and who dies.”