Tag Archives: innocent man

Friday Morning News Roundup

American born terrorist was killed in Yemen. Details of how he died and who killed him are unclear at this time. Anwar al-Awlaki was the Qaeda leader who inspired Major Nidal Malik Hasan to shoot up an Army base in Foot Hood, Tx.

Regulatory uncertainty leads to hiring stalemate. Not so much.

Freddie Mac’s interest rates are lower than ever.

Manufacturing appears to have increased slightly in September.

Our GDP is slightly better than we thought it was.

I talked about this case earlier, but I think there’s a real question as to whether Rick Perry, who stated that he sleeps well, allowed an innocent man to be executed.

I continue to support Occupy Wall Street.

Susan Sarandon – Occupy Wall Street

 

It’s important to remember that it is still extremely early in the political season. Eight years ago Wesley Clark was leading the Democratic field with 22% of the support, followed by Howard Dean at 13%, John Kerry with 11%, and Dick Gephardt and Joe Lieverman with 11% and 10 %, respectively.

The Senate has filibustered a huge number of Obama’s appointments to the federal bench. It appears that Harry Reid has figured out how to get some of these nominees through the Senate.

In the category of the world gone crazy, “actress” and model Holly Madison has insured her breasts for $1 million.

Holly Madison

Can we still justify the death penalty?

We have had the death penalty in this country ever since its inception. So is it time to change? I believe that the debate over the death penalty touches on the some of the fundamental questions about why we have a justice system. Is the purpose of a justice system to protect the public or to seek revenge for the wronged? So, does the justice system need to balance these two competing interests? If the purpose of the justice system is to rectify some injustice that has been perpetrated on a person or family, I would suggest that there is no way to fix that wrong. If a loved one is been taken from you, there’s no way to bring that person back. There is no way to right that wrong.

I would also ask whether a “civilized” society should put its own citizens to death. If a society can put its own citizens to death, then under what circumstances is that okay?

From Outside the Beltway:

The Texas Observer takes note of the case of a man executed in Texas more than a decade ago who quite possibly may have been innocent:

Claude Jones always claimed that he wasn’t the man who walked into an East Texas liquor store in 1989 and shot the owner. He professed his innocence right up until the moment he was strapped to a gurney in the Texas execution chamber and put to death on Dec. 7, 2000. His murder conviction was based on a single piece of forensic evidence recovered from the crime scene—a strand of hair—that prosecutors claimed belonged to Jones.

But DNA tests completed this week at the request of the Observer and the New York-based Innocence Project show the hair didn’t belong to Jones after all. The day before his death in December 2000, Jones asked for a stay of execution so the strand of hair could be submitted for DNA testing. He was denied by then-Gov. George W. Bush.

A decade later, the results of DNA testing not only undermine the evidence that convicted Jones, but raise the possibility that Texas executed an innocent man. The DNA tests—conducted by Mitotyping Technologies, a private lab in State College, Pa., and first reported by the Observer on Thursday—show the hair belonged to the victim of the shooting, Allen Hilzendager, the 44-year-old owner of the liquor store.

Because the DNA testing doesn’t implicate another shooter, the results don’t prove Jones’ innocence. But the hair was the only piece of evidence that placed Jones at the crime scene. So while the results don’t exonerate him, they raise serious doubts about his guilt

This wouldn’t be the first case of a Texas execution being called into question. Last year, an arson expert pretty much definitely established that the 2004 execution of Cameron Tood Willinghman was based on faulty expert witness testimony:

In a withering critique, a nationally known fire scientist has told a state commission on forensics that Texas fire investigators had no basis to rule a deadly house fire was an arson — a finding that led to the murder conviction and execution of Cameron Todd Willingham.

The finding comes in the first state-sanctioned review of an execution in Texas, home to the country’s busiest death chamber. If the commission reaches the same conclusion, it could lead to the first-ever declaration by an official state body that an inmate was wrongly executed.

Indeed, the report concludes there was no evidence to determine that the December 1991 fire was even set, and it leaves open the possibility the blaze that killed three children was an accident and there was no crime at all — the same findings found in a Chicago Tribune investigation of the case published in December 2004.

What is Scalia doing?

For years, the Right has been very clever at coming up with novel ways to argue their point of view  Here’s another. Mark Karlin from Buzzflash has the story. Scotus also has the lowdown.

Antonin Scalia is guilty of initiating the theft of the 2000 election from Al Gore through a stay he issued forcing the stop of the State Court ordered recount in Florida, and his subsequent coordination a 5-4 majority to annoint George W. Bush as President.

But as of just yesterday, August 17th, he also added state sanctioned murder to his list of crimes.

Scalia was one of just two written dissenters (along with his puppet, Clarence Thomas), who ferociously challenged the notion that the Supreme Court should ensure that an innocent man not be put to death.  That’s right, Scalia — in common sense terms and not the legal mumble jumble that he dazzles the likes of Harry Reid with (BuzzFlash once wrote an editorial about how Harry Reid thought Scalia so brilliant he might consider voting for him for Chief Justice at the time — such is the sad mindset of our Democratic Majority Leader) — asserts that there is nothing in the Constitution that prevents an innocent person from being executed.

No, we are not making this up. Scalia — although he uses arcane justifications of state vs. federal jurisdiction and that tidy trials shouldn’t be challenged — argues that the governmental legal system is not prohibited by the federal Constitution from killing the wrong person, in the name of — excuse me while I throw up a little in my mouth — “justice.” Continue reading What is Scalia doing?