Friday, April 2, 2010

Actual Innocence Scorecard: An Introduction

After having calculated that Texas has executed 54 innocent people, and after having vowed to review all 451 Texas lethal injections in search of those 54, I have developed an Actual Innocence Scoring program to allow summarizing and ranking of the cases. I'll introduce that scoring system below using Robert Nelson Drew as an example of someone who scored well (84 out of 100) and Melvin Wayne White as an example of someone who scored poorly (0 out of 100).

The Skeptical Spouse and I develop custom database solutions for a small list of clients using a database  system called Filemaker. I naturally turned to that software when faced with organizing and bringing some sense to all the data I am collecting about the 451 executions. By comparison with the solutions we develop for our clients, the Actual Innocence Scoring software is exceptionally simple. It is nonetheless my primary tool for evaluating the cases.

I wish to clarify up front that my scoring program does not and can not remove the subjective nature of my evaluation. The program merely allows me (forces me) to condense the case to a single screen, to consider individually the primary evidentiary components of a case, to assign a subjective score to each of those components, and to apply weighting factors to calculate an overall Actual Innocence Score.

To see the scorecard for Robert Nelson Drew, click on the image to the left. The scorecard for Melvin Wayne White is down and to the right (click "Read more"). Open either for a nearly full screen image in which the text becomes readable.