Tim Berton 
Member since Sep 9, 2011



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Re: “Why I Don't Understand (Some) Republicans

The Willingham case is more an example of a major problem with inaccurate arson investigations in the Texas justice system.

It also is a case of Governor Perry failing to do his duty and issue a 30 day stay of execution when last minute exculpatory evidence became available. The state convicted Willingham of murder by arson based on 2 arson investigators with high school degrees and minimal formal training in arson.

Along comes Ph.D. Chemist, Gerald Hurst, who rebuts every single conclusion in their testimony and shows that the state actually has no physical evidence of arson based on modern scientific arson analysis, and Perry ignores it.

Perry should have at least granted the 30 day stay of execution and had other arson experts confirm Hurst's report.

The whole reason for the governor to have the power to issue a 30 day stay is for cases like Willingham's when exculpatory evidence becomes available at the last minute.

Perry blew it and has since tried to cover up his mistake by firing members of the Texas Forensics Science Commission to derail their investigation of the Willingham case.

Posted by Tim Berton on 09/09/2011 at 5:41 AM

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