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Texas Trying to Execute Another Innocent Person

 
 
oralloy
 
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 10:40 am
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/radley-balko/hank-skinner-texas-death-row_b_1072707.html
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 5,244 • Replies: 118

 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 04:37 pm
@oralloy,
How did you come to the conclusion that he is innocent?
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 04:49 pm
This is a perfect example of why I oppose the death penalty. If the man in the story is guilty or not will not be decided until the test is done. I am sure it will be done, in time. But why is it so important to kill the man before it is performed?
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 05:16 pm
@oralloy,
Good grief. If half of what is in that HuffPo piece is true, it`s hard to explain how anyone can defend the Texas court system.
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 06:47 pm
@oralloy,
Thay might as well test the DNA evidence.
A delay will not matter much.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 06:56 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
How did you come to the conclusion that he is innocent?


He is desperately trying to get the evidence in the case tested fairly. And the government is doing everything possible to prevent any such testing.

Also, when the media started their own test, it appeared likely that the test would show innocence before the government pulled the plug on it.

I acknowledge that there is a small chance (very small) that he is guilty. But the actions of the government in blocking testing justifies a freestanding assumption that he is innocent until such time that the evidence is allowed to be tested.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 07:28 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:
Good grief. If half of what is in that HuffPo piece is true, it`s hard to explain how anyone can defend the Texas court system.


Here is the PBS Frontline episode about the innocent person that Texas has already executed:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/death-by-fire/

I think it is possible to view the episode online, although being stuck on dialup I can't say for sure. The text parts of the website aren't nearly as hard-hitting as the actual TV show.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 08:35 pm
@oralloy,
It does not make sense as the testing will likely be done after the fact of his execution if not before and if he is innocent that would prove "slightly" embarrassing for Texas.

So it is likely they are fairly sure he is guilty and just using the testing as a delaying tactic.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 09:05 pm
@oralloy,
Quote:
assumption that he is innocent until such time that the evidence is allowed to be tested.


Given me a break he was found guilty by a jury and then went through decades of appeals so he had no assumption of being innocent remaining.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 09:12 pm
@BillRM,
so why didn't they do the DNA testing? the question could have been fully answered years ago if the DNA testing had been done when he first requested it.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 09:35 pm
@ehBeth,
I have no idea however I question if anyone would press for his execution if there was any likelihood in their minds of him being proven after the fact to be innocent.

The governor of Texas and want to be President for example would be in deep ****.

You would also need to assume that a large percent of the higher members of the Texas justice system would have no problem in executing an innocent man!!!!!!

I guess just for laughs.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 09:46 pm
@ehBeth,
By the way if memory serve me correctly not that long ago there was a similar case of a man right up to his execution claiming to be innocent and he would be proven so by some DNA evidence.

He got his lawyer to promise to help clear his name afterward and yet when the DNA was look at it prove the SOB guilty.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 09:53 pm
@ehBeth,
CBS/AP) New DNA tests confirmed the guilt of a man who went to his death in Virginia's electric chair in 1992 proclaiming his innocence, the governor said Thursday.

The case had been closely watched by both sides in the death penalty debate because no executed convict in the United States has ever been exonerated by scientific testing.

The tests, ordered by the governor earlier this month, prove Roger Keith Coleman was guilty of the 1981 rape and murder of his sister-in-law, Gov. Mark R. Warner said.

Coleman was convicted and sentenced to death in 1982 for the murder of 19-year-old Wanda McCoy, his wife's sister, who was found raped, stabbed and nearly beheaded in her home in the coal mining town of Grundy.

The report from the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto concluded there was almost no conceivable doubt that Coleman was the source of the sperm found in the victim.

"The probability that a randomly selected individual unrelated to Roger Coleman would coincidentally share the observed DNA profile is estimated to be 1 in 19 million," the report said.

With the test, Coleman became a victim of science, and of his own insistence upon it, CBS News correspondent Jim Stewart reports.

"I requested DNA fingerprinting because I'm an innocent man," Coleman said before his execution. "I've got nothing to hide, and I knew that DNA fingerprinting would prove my innocence."

A finding of innocence would have been explosive news and almost certainly would have had a powerful effect on the public's attitude toward capital punishment. Death penalty opponents have argued for years that the risk of a grave and irreversible mistake by the criminal justice system is too great to allow capital punishment.

"We have sought the truth using DNA technology not available at the time the commonwealth carried out the ultimate criminal sanction," Warner said in a statement. "The confirmation that Roger Coleman's DNA was present reaffirms the verdict and the sanction. Again, my prayers are with the family of Wanda McCoy at this time."

Initial DNA and blood tests in 1990 placed Coleman within the 0.2 percent of the population who could have produced the semen at the crime scene. But his lawyers said the expert they hired to conduct those initial DNA tests misinterpreted the results.

The governor agreed to a new round of more sophisticated DNA tests in one of his last official acts. Warner, who has been mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate for president in 2008, leaves office on Saturday.

Coleman's case drew international attention as the well-spoken inmate pleaded his case on talk shows and in magazines and newspapers. Time magazine featured the coal miner on its cover. Pope John Paul II tried to block the execution. Then-Gov. L. Douglas Wilder's office was flooded with thousands of calls and letters of protest from around the world.

(CBS/AP) Coleman's attorneys argued that he did not have time to commit the crime, that tests showed semen from two men was found inside McCoy and that another man bragged about murdering her.

"An innocent man is going to be murdered tonight," the 33-year-old said moments before he was electrocuted on May 20, 1992. "When my innocence is proven, I hope America will realize the injustice of the death penalty as all other civilized countries have."

A former prosecutor in the case said the results, while not surprising, were a relief.

"Quite frankly, I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off of my shoulders," Grundy attorney Tom Scott said. "You can imagine, had it turned out differently, (the other prosecutor) and I certainly would have been scapegoats."

Prosecutors said a mountain of other evidence pointed to Coleman as the killer: There was no sign of forced entry at McCoy's house, leading investigators to believe she knew her attacker; Coleman was previously convicted of the attempted rape of a teacher and was charged with exposing himself to a librarian two months before the murder; a pubic hair found on McCoy's body was consistent with Coleman's hair; and the original DNA tests placed him within a fraction of the population who could have left semen at the scene.

Four newspapers and Centurion Ministries, a New Jersey organization that investigated Coleman's case and became convinced of his innocence, sought a court order to have the evidence retested. The Virginia Supreme Court declined to order the testing in 2002, so Centurion Ministries asked Warner to intervene.

James McCloskey, executive director of Centurion Ministries, had been fighting to prove Coleman's innocence since 1988. The two shared Coleman's final meal together — cold slices of pizza — just a few hours before Coleman was executed.

"I now know that I was wrong. Indeed, this is a bitter pill to swallow," McCloskey said in a statement, describing Thursday's findings as "a kick in the stomach."

Death penalty opponents praised Warner's decision to order the testing but warned that Coleman's case does not mean the death penalty is infallible.

Nina Morrison of the Innocence Project told Stewart that "this isn't a case about winning or losing. I mean, by doing testing, everyone wins here. Everybody benefits from knowing the truth."
« Previous Page12.


gungasnake
 
  0  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 10:19 pm
@oralloy,
Granted from a view towards pure statistics Texas has to be executing innocent people here and there. Nonetheless from the description you linked to, it sounds like what is really needed is some sort of a B-29/firebomb raid over the entire neighborhood, i.e. one execution won't get it.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 10:28 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
It does not make sense as the testing will likely be done after the fact of his execution if not before and if he is innocent that would prove "slightly" embarrassing for Texas.


No. They plan to try to block testing even after killing him.

And Texas feels no shame at executing innocent people. In fact it makes them happy.



BillRM wrote:
So it is likely they are fairly sure he is guilty and just using the testing as a delaying tactic.


No, it is definite that they are trying to execute someone they know is probably innocent.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 10:29 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
oralloy wrote:
assumption that he is innocent until such time that the evidence is allowed to be tested.


Given me a break


No. Not when it comes to defending the innocent.



BillRM wrote:
he was found guilty by a jury and then went through decades of appeals


That's hardly a good reason to execute an innocent person.



BillRM wrote:
so he had no assumption of being innocent remaining.


Nope. Based on the way the state is blocking all testing of the evidence, he'll be presumed innocent until someone can produce some actual evidence otherwise.
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 10:30 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
I have no idea however I question if anyone would press for his execution if there was any likelihood in their minds of him being proven after the fact to be innocent.

The governor of Texas and want to be President for example would be in deep ****.


He has ALREADY done just that. Why would he balk at doing it a second time?



BillRM wrote:
You would also need to assume that a large percent of the higher members of the Texas justice system would have no problem in executing an innocent man!!!!!!


No need to assume. Texas officials delight in executing innocent people.



BillRM wrote:
I guess just for laughs.


Well, yes. It's Texas. Executing the innocent is their official state sport.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 10:35 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
A finding of innocence would have been explosive news and almost certainly would have had a powerful effect on the public's attitude toward capital punishment.


One would think. But we already now have a case where Rick Perry went ahead with an execution when the evidence was clear beforehand that the person was innocent. I'm still waiting for the massive public outcry.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 6 Nov, 2011 10:46 pm
@BillRM,
BillRM wrote:
CBS/AP) New DNA tests confirmed the guilt of a man who went to his death in Virginia's electric chair in 1992 proclaiming his innocence, the governor said Thursday.


By the way, even though the test finally proved him guilty, so long as the state was blocking the test, it was correct to presume that he was really innocent.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Nov, 2011 01:40 am
@oralloy,
Quote:
No. They plan to try to block testing even after killing him.


Will not work the test will sooner or later will be done.

Quote:
And Texas feels no shame at executing innocent people. In fact it makes them happy.


BULLSHIT
 

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