When I started this blog I told myself that I would stay away from political topics, but with a platform and my deeply held opinions, some things are just too hard not to comment on. There is a case in Texas of Cameron Todd Willingham who was convicted in 1992 ad executed in 2004 for setting a fire that killed his three children. Mr. Willingham proclaimed his innocence until his death. Governor Perry denied a thirty day stay of execution even though his attorneys had evidence that the forensic science used to prove the arson was flawed. A new District Attorney commissioned a national expert to review the findings of the original investigation. That expert found that there was no way the evidence could have proven arson.
Mr. Willingham’s execution can not be undone, but a reasonable person would think that the State would be interested in preventing the future death of an innocent person. Apparently not in Texas. A commission was set to review the new findings and the Governor decided to remove three commissioners, the chairman being replaced by one of the Governor’s conservative cronies, who immediately canceled the hearing. Why not examine the flaws in the case? Is the Governor afraid that Texas will lose it’s number one rank in executions? Surely, that’s not a source of pride.
My question is why do some states rush to execute defendants even in light of evidence of actual innocence? (My home state of Georgia is no exception. See the case of Troy Anthony Davis.) What happened to better ten guity men go free, than to have one innocent man convicted? It is amazing to me that the same people who tout the Constitution as the greatest document ever written are the very ones who want to preempt it’s protections. Yes our system is flawed, but it’s still the best one around. It’s the people, not the system that I question.