Rick Perry sat on a wall. Rick Perry took a big fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men could not put Rick Perry together again. (From an old English nursery rhyme, Humpty Dumpty.)
If Rick Perry had nothing to hide, his hand picked go-to crony would not continue to cover up the Cameron Todd Willingham execution investigation. According to Rick Casey of the Houston Chronicle, Chairman Bradley of the Texas Science Commission has no intention of meeting anytime soon. At least there will no meetings between now, and guess when?
You got it.
Hell has better chances of freezing over between now and November. Hell, Texas has a better chance of freezing over between now and November. It would be easier to envision a July snowstorm in Houston before a meeting of the Texas Forensics Science Commission.
Last fall when Gov. Rick Perry abruptly replaced the chairman of the Texas Forensic Science Commission two days before it was to hear a national arson expert testify that Texas had executed a man for murder by arson based on faulty evidence and profoundly flawed testimony by a fire marshal, I naively wondered whether the commission's findings on the case would be delayed until after the March primary.
I underestimated the skills of Perry's hand-picked new chairman, Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley.
Now I can confidently predict that the matter will not be settled until after the November election, a full 14 months after Bradley took over leadership of the commission.
Eighty-eight minutes before Tod Willingham was executed in 1994, Texas Governor Rick Perry was faxed a report by a respected arson expert suggesting that Willingham might be innocent. Perry either ignored or did not read the report and Willingham was put to death anyway.
Maybe this is why Rick Perry rails against the feds 24/7/365 and why he spouts off about a Texas secession.
Months after Willingham was executed, the Chicago Tribune published an investigative report that raised questions about the forensic analysis. The Innocence Project assembled five of the nation's leading independent arson experts to review the evidence in the case, and they issued a 48-page report finding that none of the scientific analysis used to convict Willingham was valid.
In 2006, the Innocence Project formally submitted the case to the Texas Forensic Science Commission, asking the empowered state entity to launch a full investigation. Along with the Willingham case, the Innocence Project submitted information about another arson case in Texas where identical evidence was used to send another man to death row. In that case, Ernest Willis was exonerated and freed from prison because the forensic evidence was not valid.
In 2008, the Texas Forensic Science Commission agreed to investigate the case. The commission hired renowned arson expert Craig Beyler to review all of the evidence in the case. In August 2009, Beyler submitted his report to the commission, finding that the forensic analysis used to convict Willingham was wrong – and that experts who testified at Willingham's trial should have known it was wrong at the time.
An investigative report in the September 7, 2009, issue of the New Yorker deconstructs every facet of the state's case against Willingham. The 16,000-word article by David Grann shows that all of the evidence used against Willingham was invalid, including the forensic analysis, the informant's testimony, other witness testimony and additional circumstantial evidence.
It would seem to me that the real monster here is Rick Perry, the man responsible for the execution of an innocent man.
Shame on Rick Perry.
If our governor was a principled man with a shred of moral integrity he would step up and take responsibility for his heinous mistake. He would apologize to Willingham's family and to the people of Texas for this atrocity. The state of Texas would make reparations to the family of Cameron Todd Willingham, not that reparations could ever bring his life back to his loved ones.
Again, hell would be more likely to freeze over than a forthcoming apology and ownership of this horrible execution.
Is this the kind of person we want governing Texas?
Perry's mistake is our mistake, too. Perry owns it. We own it.
I don't know about you, but I don't want anyone like Rick Perry holding any office anywhere.