ABC Evening News for Wednesday, Dec 14, 1983
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(Studio) Highest number executions in United States said occurring in 1937; details given.
REPORTER: Peter Jennings
(DC) Execution today of Robert Wayne Williams in Louisiana and scheduled death of John Eldon Smith in Georgia tomorrow noted; photos shown. Current number on death row ntnwide. and implications for them of incring. number executions examined. No. executions per month for over year required to clear death row mentioned. [American Enterprise Institution spokesperson Walter BERNS - opposes such carnage.] Revision of state death penalty laws since Supreme Court ruling in 1972 explained; Florida's zealousness discussed. [Governor Robert GRAHAM - believes justice isn't being carried out in Florida due to lack of executions.] Florida attorney general Jim Smith, feeling state's death penalty a failure, said blaming defense attys. [ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) spokesperson Alvin BRONSTEIN - notes Smith and Supreme Court don't object to antitrust suits dragging out leagal proceedings; believes death penalty isn't capable of being applied fairly.] Current United States homicide rate and public opinion poll results on death penalty graphed on screen. [American Univ. law school spokesperson Ira ROBBINS - thinks nation is testing its commitment to death penalty.] Logistics in clearing death row next year compared to number executions by Ayatollah Khomeini.
REPORTER: Jack Smith