Today, 01:53 AM
Questions of criminal guilt are insescapably emprical in nature, and are therefore always subject to the possibility of doubt.
"Overwhelmingness" (whatever that is supposed to mean) has got nothing to do with it. Among those who have been found "guilty," how do you propose to effectively distinguish between those who are "overwhelmingly" guilty and those are "merely" guilty? (Yet another trial process? A coin flip? Magical divination? What, then?) And having done so (by whatever means). what jurisprudential principles are then to be used to determine the punishments that are proper for those who have been found "overwhelmingly" guilty of some crime as distinct from the punishments (for exactly the same crime, mind you) that are proper for those who have been found "merely" guilty?
There are verdicts of "guilty" or "not guilty" - and those verdicts may be correct or incorrect. That is all.
And the fact that there may be correct "guilty" verdicts (Dahmer, etc.) does not rectify or abnegate incorrect "guilty" verdicts, of which there will always and inevitably be some number. Under any system of capital punishment, no matter how stringent it may be, there will always be errors. Thus, under any such system, there will always be innocents killed in the name of punishing those who kill innocents. It is difficult to conceive a more profound and indefensible hypocrisy than this.