Ed. Note: This is the eighth part of a ten-part wrap-up of Rick Perry's history of cover-up and corruption that will run on Burnt Orange Report today.
Days before an expert was to give testimony, Rick Perry rearranged the board at the Texas Forensic Science Commission to appoint one of his top lieutenants, John Bradley, as the new Chair. Bradley immediately canceled a hearing on the death of Cameron Todd Willingham, a man who could possibly have been executed without having committed the crime he was accused of.
The Houston Chronicle describes the actions of the cover-up in the Rick Casey column, “The revolt of the scientists“:
This was the first meeting of the commission under Bradley, who was appointed last September. His first official act was to cancel a meeting three days later at which the commission was scheduled to receive a report from a nationally renowned arson expert hired by the commission in its first high-profile case.
The meeting had drawn national attention because the expert found that the arson investigation that helped lead to the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham for the murder of his children was badly flawed. It was especially controversial because Perry had rejected a request to delay Willingham's execution based on similar expert analysis.
Bradley unilaterally wrote the agenda for Friday's meeting to focus on new policies and procedures, omitting the Willingham report. He also unilaterally chose Harlingen (which is as close to Mexico City as to Fort Worth, where three of the nine uncompensated and busy commission members live), making wrong my snide prediction that he would hold the meeting in Presidio to discourage reporters.
Much, much more about this in the stories below.
Additional Sources – The Latest
- Houston Chronicle – The revolt of the scientists
- Newsweek – Injustice, Texas Style
- CNN – Advocate challenges impartiality of Texas prosecutor probing execution
- Dallas Morning News – The state forensic panel criticized their leader for calling Cameron Todd Willingham 'a guilty monster'
- Texas Tribune – “Frontline” Season Premiere Features Willingham Case
- Texas Tribune – Forensic Commissioners Push Back Against Bradley
- Houston Chroncile – Focusing on what's right, not just legal
Coverage on BOR – The Cover-Up
- Rick Perry Lawyer During Willingham Arson Case Was Indicted for Arson Fraud
- CNN Airs Ten-Minute Feature on Rick Perry Investigation Cover-Up
- Rick Perry Cover-Up: Either He Didn't Know, or Didn't Care
- Glenn Smith: Forensics Expert Beyler Planned Public Airing of Willingham Report
- Juror in Willingham Execution Case: “Maybe this man was innocent.”
- TX-Gov: Archiving Rick Perry's Cover-Up of Investigation into Execution of Todd Willingham
- CNN's Anderson Cooper: Texas Governor Rick Perry Covering Up Innocent Man's Execution?
- Rick Perry May have Violated Federal Law in Willingham Execution
- Gov. Perry Begins Cover-up in Todd Willingham Case: Replaces Chair of Forensics Commission
- TX-Gov: Did Rick Perry Fire Prosecutors to Avoid an Embarrassing Public Hearing
- John Bradley Violated Texas Open Meetings Act at Forensic Science Commission Meeting