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Death penalty ain’t foolproof: San Beda Law dean Ranhilio Aquino says innocents might be killed

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Innocent persons might be sentenced to die in the Philippines if death penalty is brought back, San Beda College of Law dean Fr. Ranhilio Aquino said.

In his February 20 column for The Standard, Aquino said cracks and weaknesses of the judicial system mean not everyone who is sentenced to die may be guilty of heinous crimes.

“So, there is always the possibility that we may convict and send to the gallows someone who is innocent. It need not be shown that this has happened—although it has in fact happened in the world’s judicial past,” he said.

Aquino said the “mere possibility” that an innocent person may die is already a strong argument against bringing back capital punishment.

The House of Representatives is set to vote this month on the bill reinstating death penalty. It is one of the priority measures of the Duterte administration.