Posted by: maboulette | September 15, 2011


Rick Perry shows us around his office. He's Te...

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As Governor of Texas, Rick Perry oversaw the execution of an innocent man. But the media is failing to do its job and make Perry account for his role in this terrible injustice.

The facts are pretty damning. Cameron Todd Willingham was executed for intentionally starting a fire that killed his three children.  But all six of the outside experts who have reviewed the evidence of the Dec. 23, 1991 fire that killed the Willingham children have concluded that there is no reason to think arson caused the fire.

In other words, Mr. Willingham was executed for a crime that never even occurred.

And yet, in the Republican debates thus far, Rick Perry has gotten a free pass about it.

Tell the media: Confront Rick Perry about presiding over the execution of an innocent man in the next debate. Click here to sign the petition.

It’s bad enough that Rick Perry ignored evidence of Mr. Willingham’s innocence and allowed him to be executed. But then he tried to cover it up. Right before the Texas Forensic Science Commission was set to review a report discrediting evidence against Willingham (who had already been executed), Perry effectively blocked their investigation by removing some of the members of the commission.

Despite a presidential debate in which the audience erupted with wild applause when Perry touted the 234 men and women who have been executed during his time in office, the media has yet to question him about his involvement in this tragic miscarriage of justice.

No moderator has pointedly asked Perry about his decision not to stay the execution of Willingham in the face of evidence proving he was wrongly convicted. Nor has anyone asked Perry about his subsequent efforts to stonewall further investigation of this case.

The media has a responsibility to the electorate and to the general public to confront Perry about his decision. No one who is seeking the Presidency of the United States should be able to get away with overseeing the killing of an innocent man without being questioned about it.

This is an issue that has especially strong relevance right now. Today, Governor Perry will oversee the execution of the 235th person to receive the death penalty since he took office as the Governor of Texas.  

You would think that making so many decisions of that magnitude would weigh heavily on anyone. However, in a Republican debate last week, Perry gave the chilling response that he’s “never struggled” with the decision to authorize any executions. 4

This is an especially troubling statement for the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for President given that there is scientific evidence proving the innocence of one of the men who was put to death on Perry’s watch.

The day of the authorization of his 235th execution is the perfect time to demand that the moderators of future Republican debates directly question Perry about Todd Willingham’s case to educate the public about Perry’s alarming track record on executions in his state.

Tell the media: Confront Rick Perry about presiding over the execution of an innocent man in the next debate. Click here to automatically sign the petition.


  1. […] Was an Innocent Man Executed? ( […]

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