A popular saying goes “to err is human” which has been proven true in many instances that human beings are generally fallible. People can be wrong but contrary to many skeptics arguments, their fallibility shows that not only would they be wrong, but can also be right. Being wrong does not only carry the possibility of one being right, but implies that often he/she is. Fallibility is a mark of objectivity as it shows there is no standard other than oneself which determines what is right or wrong. Most people can be wrong in given instances but that does not necessarily mean that they are always on the wrong. Fallibilism states that human beings sometimes fall to hit the mark and at times also hit the mark, but when they hit the mark and attain the relevant knowledge, our judgments are grounded in a way that still admits to the possibility of error.
The Illinois governor George Ryan said "Until I can be sure with moral certainty that no innocent man or woman is facing lethal injection, no one will meet that fate". This was a remark when decrying about the shameful record of convicting innocent people and convicting them to death row. This was right after the 13th Illinois death row inmate had been released from prison as a result of wrongful convictions. Around that same period of time 12 death row inmates had been executed. George Ryan lamented on that system of administration that had proven so ‘fraught with error and took innocent lives of people’ convicting them to the death penalty. The governor arrived at that decision based on the increased number of wrongful convictions and the recent investigations that proved the failure of the death penalty in Illinois. The investigative piece showed bias, error and incompetence coming out to be some of the common mistakes that led to wrongful convictions of innocent people.
George Ryan claimed that he needed the moral certainty before approving a person to be convicted of death penalty. There is always the threat of an innocent person being executed as a result of wrongful convictions brought about by human error. For a fact, George Ryan went on further to state that he will not again approve any other execution until he appointed a committee to investigate the system flaws and given its recommendations. It has become a subject of great concern to first validate a person’s mind for him/her to deliver a judgment on death penalty to a guilty person. Death penalty should be arrived at after very careful thought and examination of the criminals to determine whether they are guilty or not in order to accord them justice. It is very agonizing seeing a person ending up on death row and hence the urgent need to ensure that the justice system is working correctly and people serving there are on their right state of mind. For an innocent man to pay the ultimate price of death penalty for a crime he/she did not commit is usually a very disturbing situation for both the convict and the ones delivering the judgment right after it has been found out that the convict was wrongfully convicted. Human beings are fallible and hence very capable to make mistakes and most of the time they do make them.
The jury or any other justice system may deliver a ruling not knowing they are committing a mistake that may in future hold them accountable or may damage the reputation of the whole system. For death penalty it may be the worst of errors given what it usually means for the convict. This has always led to the question of what are the chances that the ruling would not be based on an error. This has further led to the need of people being cock sure with the administration system before accepting any lethal injection to a guilty person. Many justice systems work with the notion that a criminal is usually guilty before proven innocent and not the other way round. This calls for the proving beyond any reasonable doubt that a person is guilty before any given judgment, like for this case death penalty, before a ruling is arrived at.
Gilovich, Thomas. How We Know What Isn't so: The Fallibility of Human Reason in Everyday Life. New York, N.Y: Free Press, 1991. Print.