Wednesday, October 07, 2009

 

justice denied, justice delayed

The story of Cameron Todd Willingham, an almost certainly innocent man executed in Texas, continues to garner national attention. The latest turn of events in the continuing saga of this case only demonstrates the obvious desperation of Texas Governor Rick Perry to keep the truth from coming out.

In 2005, the state of Texas established a commission, the Texas Forensic Science Commission, to investigate allegations of error and misconduct by forensic scientists. Willingham's is one of the first cases the Commission reviewed. Noted fire scientist, Craig Beyler, who was hired by the commission, completed his investigation in mid-August and issued a scathing report. He concluded that the original investigators in the Willingham case had no scientific evidence for claiming an arson occurred and that they ignored evidence that contradicted their theory.

The Texas Forensic Science Commission was scheduled to present its findings in a recent public hearing. But, before the hearing could take place, Gov. Rick Perry replaced three commissioners on the board and appointed Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley as the new chairman of the commission. Bradley’s first act as chairman was to cancel the hearing. This decision to change the board structure so late in the process appears to indicate that Perry's restructuring was actually meant to thwart questions about Willingham’s 2004 execution. Read more here.

On October 2, even as the facts of the Willingham case continue to be revealed, two men were released from Oklahoma’s death row after serving almost 15 years. Yancy Douglas and Paris Powell became the 137th and 138th exonerees from death row when evidence of their wrongful conviction emerged.

You can go to http://www.dpic.org/ for more information concerning these latest examples of justice delayed and justice denied.
Comments :
It's amazing that Perry can be so wrong, yet so steadfast.
 
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