Injustice Through Ignorance

 Posted on October 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

Texas Governor Rick "Goodhair" Perry says that Cameron Todd Willingham is a "monster" and a "bad man" who murdered his children (Houston Chronicle). He is convinced that Willingham was guilty of his crime.

That's good enough for me. If the Governor of Texas says someone is a monster, then dadgummit he's a monster. Why is he convinced that he's a monster?

Because "he murdered his three children [and] tried to beat his wife into an abortion so he wouldn't have those kids."

We know he murdered his three children because he's a monster, and we know he's a monster because he murdered his three children.

To be fair, that's not quite all. There's also that allegation that Willingham tried to beat his wife into a miscarriage (forgive Goodhair; he doesn't know the difference. But he does know a monster. Like the good little Animal Science major he is, he's not calling Willingham an animal.) This was not culpability evidence in Willingham's trial-the jury didn't get to hear about it when deciding Willingham's guilt-and with good reason: it's 403 as hell.

Also, "This is a bad man. This is a guy who in the death chamber in his last breath spews an obscenity-laced (tirade) against his wife." Seriously: this is what those who don't want to believe that Texas killed an innocent man are hanging their hats on: he cussed his wife out from the gurney, so he must be guilty.

What's really going on, of course, is that we killed him, so he must be guilty. More specifically, Rick Perry signed off on his execution, and Rick Perry is a GWB-style Republican Who Never Makes Mistakes, so Willingham must be guilty.

So how about that unreliable snitch, Johnny Webb, who might have testified to something that he "misunderstood"? How about the thoroughly discredited "expert" testimony of Fogg and Vasquez (PDF)? Stuff like:

Neither the fire that killed the three Willingham children nor the fire that killed Elizabeth Grace Belue and Gail Joe Allison were incendiary fires.


The burning of the base plate below the threshold is precluded by the lack of access of air sufficient to produce flaming combustion. Thus, ignitable liquids would not be capable of producing the charring on the wood base plate.

"Anti-death penalty propaganda," says Animal Scientist Goodhair. The safe money is on Rick Perry not having read and understood the Arson Review Committee's report.

"Now surely you're not saying the Supreme Court of the United States fouled up four times?" Perry said. The safe money is likewise on the Animal Scientist not being able to describe a single issue raised in any one of these appeals.

While all of this makes me miss Governor GWB's intellectualism and wonder whether we could get Perry to secede all alone, it's pretty harmless, right? Governor shooting off his mouth about something that he knows nothing about; another public official rationalizing his role in killing someone who didn't need killing; happens every day; ho-hum what else?

What else is that Perry removed the defense lawyer who was the chairman of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, which was to look into Willingham's case, and replaced him with our old friend John Bradley, Williamson County District Attorney.

Now, Bradley consistently plays toward his constituents, who are unfortunately the same as the Animal Scientist's (and GWB's): scared white people. And scared white people don't want those officials elected to keep them safe to show any signs of weakness, like admitting mistakes.

The Texas Forensic Science Commission‘s (motto: Justice Through Science-No, Seriously, Stop Laughing!) mission includes:

Investigating, in a timely manner, any allegation of professional negligence or misconduct that would substantially affect the integrity of the results of a forensic analysis conducted by an accredited laboratory, facility or entity.

To be fair, it doesn't say anything about "competent" investigation or "unbiased" investigation. Which is good because, with Perry directing and Bradley starring, the Texas Forensic Science Commission's "investigation" of the forensic analysis in Willingham's case is shaping up to be nothing more than a show trial.

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