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Governor Rick Perry Execution Coverup Scandal

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An investigation into claims that faulty evidence led Texas to execute an innocent man in 2004 was at a "crucial point" when the state's governor replaced three of its members this week, one of the three said Thursday.

Gov. Rick Perry's shake-up of the Texas Forensic Science Commission came two days before it was to hear from the author of a scathing report in the case of Cameron Todd Willingham. That Friday session has been postponed indefinitely in the wake of Perry's new appointments, and critics of the governor accused him of trying to quash the Willingham probe.

"I think people are making a lot of this issue," Perry told reporters Thursday in Austin, Texas. He said the replacement of commission Chairman Sam Bassett and commissioners Alan Levy and Aliece Watts, whose terms had expired, was "pretty normal protocol."

"If you've got a whole new investigation going forward, it makes a lot more sense to put the new people in now and let them start the full process, rather than bring people in there for a short period of time and then replace them," he said. "I think it makes a whole lot more sense to make a change now than to make a change later."

The Forensic Science Commission began investigating the Willingham case in 2008, hiring Maryland fire investigation expert Craig Beyler to examine the evidence used to convince a jury the fire that killed Willingham's three daughters was deliberately set. Levy said Thursday he told the governor's office "that it would be disruptive to make the new appointments right now."

"The commission was at a crucial point in the investigation," he said. Asked about the future of the Willingham investigation, he said, "I don't know if it will ever be heard."

Levy, a top prosecutor in Fort Worth, Texas, said he had asked to remain on the commission, but received no response from the governor's office. Sam Bassett, the panel's former chairman, said he also asked to remain.

Beyler's report is the latest of three to conclude that arson was not the likely cause of the 1991 fire, and the first commissioned by a state agency. Death penalty opponents say an impartial review of the Willingham case could lead to an unprecedented admission that the state executed an innocent man.

tl;dr Governor Rick Perry was given a chance to pardon a man slated for execution. He refused to pardon, the man was executed, forensic evidence exonerated the man, and Perry "shook up" the investigation committee and stood by his mistake.

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This isn't really a cover up or a scandal. Stop trying to make something out of nothing. Not the first time an innocent person has been executed.

Which is why the death penalty is not a good idea and should not be used.

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Remember that this man is a US candidate and the Republican with the best fundraising network. He needs to go.

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Which is why the death penalty is not a good idea and should not be used.

I think it should be if you can prove with 100% certainty that somebody committed the crime. For instance, the Norwegian guy. We know without a doubt that he did it - the death penalty would suit him perfectly.

This isn't really a cover up or a scandal. Stop trying to make something out of nothing. Not the first time an innocent person has been executed.

How is this not a coverup or a scandal? He kicked a bunch of key officials off the team investigating it. This isn't your usual case of "innocent guy got executed, oh well, better luck next time." Essentially, Perry went "Oh, you guys are proving his innocence? Well uh... I still know he did it. And I'll make sure nobody can ever demonstrate otherwise."

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I think it should be if you can prove with 100% certainty that somebody committed the crime.

I disagree, but I think we probably shouldn't derail this thread and discuss that hear.

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Guest JAG
I disagree, but I think we probably shouldn't derail this thread and discuss that hear.

I'm not a big death penalty fan to be honest, but I was curious as to your opinion of what would be a suitable punishment for the man?

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I disagree, but I think we probably shouldn't derail this thread and discuss that hear.

Without intending to derail the thread, I can't help but ask... do you think there's doubt about him being the culprit?

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How is this not a coverup or a scandal? He kicked a bunch of key officials off the team investigating it. This isn't your usual case of "innocent guy got executed, oh well, better luck next time." Essentially, Perry went "Oh, you guys are proving his innocence? Well uh... I still know he did it. And I'll make sure nobody can ever demonstrate otherwise."

The investigators were at the end of their term. Hiring new people is nothing new.

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I'm not a big death penalty fan to be honest, but I was curious as to your opinion of what would be a suitable punishment for the man?

In my opinion death eases their suffering, it lets them go away from this earth and they no longer worry about what they did. If somebody killed my family member or somebody I knew, nothing you could possibly do to them would make me feel better; and I certainly wouldn't want them to be killed, i'd want them to sit there and think about what they did for every last day they had. during which I'd make them contribute in some fashion to society ... either by making something or something else. If they are truly deranged than they can sit there for the rest of their life.

A death for a death makes no sense.

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I'm not a big death penalty fan to be honest, but I was curious as to your opinion of what would be a suitable punishment for the man?

I have never had any personal experience to address this situation with, so I can only discuss this from what I understand. I don't understand how taking a person's life is the proper thing to do in this situation. The person, in my opinion, should get some sort of time to repent and make amends for his actions rather than just killed. By killing someone like that we could prevent God from working a greater glory through the situation. Paul himself, one of the greatest evangelists in the history of Christianity, had the blood of an untold number of Christians on his hands. I simply don't see how death is the proper course of action for Christians to support, when there is still a chance for Christ to come into their lives and change their hearts.

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The investigators were at the end of their term. Hiring new people is nothing new.

From the mouth of Perry himself, eh? Considering they were at a crucial point in the investigation and everybody on board was asking him to NOT let them go until it was done, I don't see that as a good excuse. The fact that Perry did that AND refuses to recognize that there is a case for the man's innocence is mighty fishy, and you must be blind not to see it.

---------- Post added at 07:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:51 PM ----------

I have never had any personal experience to address this situation with, so I can only discuss this from what I understand. I don't understand how taking a person's life is the proper thing to do in this situation. The person, in my opinion, should get some sort of time to repent and make amends for his actions rather than just killed. By killing someone like that we could prevent God from working a greater glory through the situation. Paul himself, one of the greatest evangelists in the history of Christianity, had the blood of an untold number of Christians on his hands. I simply don't see how death is the proper course of action for Christians to support, when there is still a chance for Christ to come into their lives and change their hearts.

You get plenty of time to repent while you're on Death Row. Unless you live in Texas. ;)

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You get plenty of time to repent while you're on Death Row. Unless you live in Texas. ;)

And yet, even if you do repent, you are still on death row, and I doubt they're going to overturn a ruling like that simply because you've become a Christian or want to help man. I really don't think there are any earthly crimes that are worth killing a person over. I'd also like to note that I'm not saying there is no appropriate time to kill someone. There are some times in which that is necessary, but I don't think that, if a person is convicted of something and being held in jail that they should be put to death like that.

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And yet, even if you do repent, you are still on death row, and I doubt they're going to overturn a ruling like that simply because you've become a Christian or want to help man. I really don't think there are any earthly crimes that are worth killing a person over. I'd also like to note that I'm not saying there is no appropriate time to kill someone. There are some times in which that is necessary, but I don't think that, if a person is convicted of something and being held in jail that they should be put to death like that.

That's not necessarily true. People have been let off death row because of true changes of character that have taken place (though again, probably not in Texas). It's not necessarily because of religious conversion, which is obviously not a good enough reason for someone to evade justice (they could be lying after all), but it happens.

But honestly, I see justice as equal punishment for a crime. Justice is fair. If you kill people, you've demonstrated a disregard for life to begin with, and you deserve something equal and it's only fair that you should die as well because you're paying back the amount that you took. If you take $100 from someone, you're obligated to pay $100 for the sake of justice. And if you take someone's life, well, you owe a life yourself.

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That's not necessarily true. People have been let off death row because of true changes of character that have taken place (though again, probably not in Texas). It's not necessarily because of religious conversion, which is obviously not a good enough reason for someone to evade justice (they could be lying after all), but it happens.

But honestly, I see justice as equal punishment for a crime. Justice is fair. If you kill people, you've demonstrated a disregard for life to begin with, and you deserve something equal and it's only fair that you should die as well because you're paying back the amount that you took. If you take $100 from someone, you're obligated to pay $100 for the sake of justice. And if you take someone's life, well, you owe a life yourself.

I tend to go with Gandhi on this one when he said "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." The United States is one of the only developed countries still using the death penalty as a punishment for crime. I mean we are on the list with countries like North Korea, Jordan, Iran, Chad ... most developed countries have outlawed it. It doesn't deter crime, it doesn't really make you feel better inside, and it doesn't bring back your loved one. Its also very expensive to keep prisoners on death row for years.

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That's not necessarily true. People have been let off death row because of true changes of character that have taken place (though again, probably not in Texas). It's not necessarily because of religious conversion, which is obviously not a good enough reason for someone to evade justice (they could be lying after all), but it happens.

You should remember that I'm from the deep South (born and raised in Georgia), so I have a regional basis when I say that people aren't let off death row.

But honestly, I see justice as equal punishment for a crime. Justice is fair. If you kill people, you've demonstrated a disregard for life to begin with, and you deserve something equal and it's only fair that you should die as well because you're paying back the amount that you took. If you take $100 from someone, you're obligated to pay $100 for the sake of justice. And if you take someone's life, well, you owe a life yourself.

That's not true. When you commit an evil (I would say crime, but what I'm saying might not necessarily be true if it was simply a crime) you are offending both the community that is invovled and God himself. I'm sure you're well aware of the infinite offense we commit against God when we sin and hence an infinite hell, but we also commit a finite offense to our brothers and sisters on earth, not solely the person we have wronged. Our actions have a communal effect whether good or bad. If you take $100 dollars away from someone, you are not solely required to pay back that $100 dollars. You are required to pay it back and make up for all the disruptions you caused (such as objects not purchased or other sorts of damages) by stealing the money. If you take someone's life, you're not obligated to give up your own life. You are obligated to make restitution to the family and to the community for the life that you have taken. Justice is not about simply an eye for an eye. It is about atoning for what you have done and repairing the damages. I do not see how killing someone who has taken a person's life at all fits the idea of justice.

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Perry has been hit with many scandals that are just now starting to be brought up because of his run.

If you kill people, you've demonstrated a disregard for life to begin with, and you deserve something equal and it's only fair that you should die as well because you're paying back the amount that you took.

It is a shame that this isn't always the case. Look at abortionists. They murder innocent lives every day.

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I tend to go with Gandhi on this one when he said "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." The United States is one of the only developed countries still using the death penalty as a punishment for crime. I mean we are on the list with countries like North Korea, Jordan, Iran, Chad ... most developed countries have outlawed it. It doesn't deter crime, it doesn't really make you feel better inside, and it doesn't bring back your loved one. Its also very expensive to keep prisoners on death row for years.

I tend to stand by the statement "things aren't true just because a popular person says so," quoted from the ever-eloquent me.

I don't care if we're the only developed country using the death penalty as a punishment for crime. What they do in their own cultures and jurisdictions is their own business. I don't care if it deters crime, there is no deterrent for murder. The only reason it doesn't make me feel better inside is because I know that their quick painless death is nowhere near as awful as the horror they inflicted upon their victims. And you're right - it doesn't bring back the loved one. However, it gets rid of the person who took them, so they can never do it again.

You're right - the death penalty is expensive. However, it's the court process that makes it so costly - not simply having them on death row. But it's for that reason that I think only in the most extreme cases should the death penalty be considered an option.

You should remember that I'm from the deep South (born and raised in Georgia), so I have a regional basis when I say that people aren't let off death row.

And that's definitely a shame.

That's not true. When you commit an evil (I would say crime, but what I'm saying might not necessarily be true if it was simply a crime) you are offending both the community that is invovled and God himself. I'm sure you're well aware of the infinite offense we commit against God when we sin and hence an infinite hell, but we also commit a finite offense to our brothers and sisters on earth, not solely the person we have wronged. Our actions have a communal effect whether good or bad. If you take $100 dollars away from someone, you are not solely required to pay back that $100 dollars. You are required to pay it back and make up for all the disruptions you caused (such as objects not purchased or other sorts of damages) by stealing the money. If you take someone's life, you're not obligated to give up your own life. You are obligated to make restitution to the family and to the community for the life that you have taken. Justice is not about simply an eye for an eye. It is about atoning for what you have done and repairing the damages. I do not see how killing someone who has taken a person's life at all fits the idea of justice.

Justice is about equal and fair punishment. Since there's no way to repair the damage caused by murder, you pay them back in the only thing you have to offer at that point - that would be your life. It's only fair. If you're a murderer, what right do you have to live?

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Justice is about equal and fair punishment. Since there's no way to repair the damage caused by murder, you pay them back in the only thing you have to offer at that point - that would be your life. It's only fair. If you're a murderer, what right do you have to live?

Andrew, before I answer that question, can I get your opinion on what makes a murderer forfeit their life vs someone who committed manslaughter who (I assume) wouldn't?

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Andrew, before I answer that question, can I get your opinion on what makes a murderer forfeit their life vs someone who committed manslaughter who (I assume) wouldn't?

The justice system takes into account the actions, setting and scenario of the crime or incident to determine the penalty. A murder get's the death penalty because he willfully takes the life of another where a man who accidentally takes a life may get a lesser penalty. In either case, there is usually some form of repercussion and if it is death it is usually deserved.

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The justice system takes into account the actions, setting and scenario of the crime or incident to determine the penalty. A murder get's the death penalty because he willfully takes the life of another where a man who accidentally takes a life may get a lesser penalty. In either case, there is usually some form of repercussion and if it is death it is usually deserved.

Deeper are you saying regardless of whether it it manslaughter or murder, that they merit the death penalty?

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