Wednesday, September 02, 2009

This Is Why I Don't Like Capital Punishment

JusticeTexas executed an innocent man. They knew it, but no one cared. Innocent but Dead - NYTimes.com

The fire marshal claimed there was all kinds of scientific evidence. There was none.
Now comes a report on the case from another noted scientist, Craig Beyler, who was hired by a special commission, established by the state of Texas to investigate errors and misconduct in the handling of forensic evidence.

The report is devastating, the kind of disclosure that should send a tremor through one’s conscience. There was absolutely no scientific basis for determining that the fire was arson, said Beyler. No basis at all. He added that the state fire marshal who investigated the case and testified against Willingham “seems to be wholly without any realistic understanding of fires.” He said the marshal’s approach seemed to lack “rational reasoning” and he likened it to the practices “of mystics or psychics.”
That wasn't the first report to call into question the "science" used to convict this guy. The first real scientific investigation of the case found basically the same thing, and it was delivered to governor and other authorities shortly before the execution. But they let an innocent man die, probably so they could look "tough on crime."

So innocent men are put to death. Sure it can't happen to you? Why not? Guilt and Innocence aren't important. And SCOTUS has ruled that innocence beyond the shadow of a doubt isn't grounds for delaying executions. (He had his "fair" trial. Too bad everybody lied.)

It's bad enough when innocent men are railroaded and sent to prison by a Justice System more interested in winning than in Justice. This is beyond disgusting.

There is an old saying... It is better that 10 guilty men should go free than one innocent man should die. (Or something to that effect.) You may not want them to go free, but do you want to be the next innocent man the state of Texas wrongfully convicts.

Everyone associated with this case, from the crazy fire marshal, to the jail house snitch (and the people who paid him off) should be up on charges. Then the governor, who failed in his duty to pardon an innocent man, (and all the other officials) should be thrown out of office. (Or tarred and feathered, whichever.)

Justice may be blind, but she isn't supposed to have her finger pushing down on one side of the scale.

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