TX-Gov: Did Rick Perry Fire Prosecutors to Avoid an Embarrassing Public Hearing?

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From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “Local prosecutor has no idea why Perry removed him from Forensics Commission

Perry abruptly removed three members of the board, causing the cancellation of Friday's high-profile meeting in Irving on a report that a faulty investigation may have led to the execution of an innocent man.

The panel was considering a report critical of the arson finding leading to Cameron Todd Willingham's 2004 execution for the deaths of his three daughters in a 1991 fire, according to The Associated Press. […]

“What his reasons for doing it, I have no idea,” Levy said. “I feel like a jilted lover except that he's prettier than I am.”

Levy said he wasn't going to assume that Perry replaced the board members as a way of forcing the meeting to be canceled until after the March primary.

Tom Schieffer released the following statement on the firing:

The commission was scheduled to have a public hearing on the case on Friday. But the commission got a new chairman this week after Governor Perry declined to extend the terms of the previous chairman, who had scheduled the hearing, and two other commission members. The new chairman has now canceled the hearing.

Opponents and supporters of the death penalty are united in their belief that only the guilty should be executed. If a mistake was made in this case, we need to know it. By the same token, if Mr. Willingham was guilty, we need to know that too.

The commission needs to reschedule the hearing as soon as possible. No one in public life should ever be afraid of the truth. In the final analysis, truth is the only thing that serves justice.

Has anyone else heard any more about this?


About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.


  1. Suppress the failure of his office in death penalty case reviews.
    Why else would he do this, unless a full investigation would show wanton disregard by the governor to grant a stay in this case, after the DNA evidence two years before the execution suggested real doubt?

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