In a recent Washington Post column, Richard Cohen compared the deep objections voiced by many Americans after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that communities can condemn property in distressed areas to make way for economic development to the tepid reaction to strong evidence that a Missouri man may have been wrongly executed for a crime he did not commit. Cohen, noting that it seems "far easier for the government to wrongfully take a life than a parcel of run-down real estate," wrote:
The city of New London, Conn., narrowly (5 to 4) won the right last month from the Supreme Court to condemn a parcel of land in a distressed part of the town to make way for economic development. The ruling has generated a tsunami of objection and an effort in many states and localities to have its effects undone . . . .
At the same time, in a far different area of the law, authorities are wondering if two men long ago convicted of murder might be innocent. This has generated almost no interest, no nationwide protest movement, suggesting that in this country it is far easier for the government to wrongfully take a life than a parcel of run-down real estate. Is this a great country or what?