Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 8:01 pm

“Rick Perry: Tough on crime. Tough on the innocent.”

Rick Perry, the Texas governor who apparently blew off exculpatory evidence in a death-penalty case, is coming under increasing fire for yanking around the commission looking into the case.

Some of that pressure is from primary opponents in his re-election campaign, and this being Texas and me being a cynic, I frankly doubt any of them gives much of a damn whether, as appears almost certain in this case, Perry allowed the execution of an innocent man, Cameron Todd Willingham. But to the extent they’re making noise about the case, they’re making it more uncomfortable for Perry, they’re making it even harder for him to defend an already-indefensible system, and they’re contributing to a climate in which we finally, finally, might start talking critically and analytically about the system under which we put criminals to death.

Politicians have been killing convicts for political purposes for centuries, and the fact that some of them might have deserved the death penalty anyway doesn’t make it right.


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