In an interview with The New York Times, Judge Jed S. Rakoff (pictured) discussed his reasons for finding the federal death penalty to be unconstitutional. Judge Rakoff ruled in April 2002 that the death penalty failed to secure due process because of the demonstrated risk of executing an innocent person. He noted that his conclusions on capital punishment were based in part on his extensive review of cases included on the Death Penalty Information Center’s innocence list. He remarked that the exonerations exposed “something pretty upsetting, if you think about its broader ramifications….that our legal system is not as good in ascertaining the truth as we thought it was.” Rakoff also revealed his personal appreciation for the needs of victims’ family members. In 1985, his brother, Jan, was murdered in the Philippines, a crime that left an “unhealable wound.” Though his 2002 decision was overturned, Rakoff maintains his concerns about the capital punishment system: “I continue to think that the process is deeply flawed. It posits a very high likelihood that no innocent person is convicted, which I no longer believe to be true.” (The New York Times, January 2, 2005). See Victims, DPIC’s page on U.S. v. Quinones, and Innocence.