Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Robert Pratt on this Willingham crap...

Radio personality Robert Pratt blogs about this on the Empower Texans blog... he blogs that this whole controversy is driven by people who oppose the death penalty (link). I am reposting the whole blog here...

State forensics board: Smoke may indicate fire, question flame’s source.

Submitted by Pratt On Texas on Tue, 10/13/2009 - 10:17am.

There have been dozens of stories over the past two weeks about Governor Perry’s decision to shake up the state forensic science commission right before it was to begin an investigation into arson evidence used in a trial in which a man was convicted, and eventually put to death.

On the surface it sounds scandalous and is understandably being used by the governor’s opponents. But a detailed reading of each story lead me to think the scandal charge hollow and had me wondering what is fueling the story other than political opponents.

Custom made to make Texas and our governor look bad; a serious breakdown and analysis of what has happened doesn’t seem to support the charges made, and that’s why the story appears specious.

The stories ignore much other evidence in the trial which lead to the man’s conviction; that the Board of Pardons and Paroles did not recommend the governor intervene to stop the execution, and most importantly; that replacing members of the forensic science commission actually brings fresh eyes to any investigation. The investigation many are perturbed about, which many hint that the governor ended as some type of cover-up, was about to be conducted by the very people who were in charge when the claimed bad-science was used and appeals lost by the convict Willingham. A bit like having the fox guard the henhouse. Fresh eyes are a plus not a negative.

And to timing being a big issue with the board shake-up just before an investigation was to begin, note that there was no hurry in the matter as the execution had already taken place. It is not as if any investigation was stymied while Willingham was waiting on the result of an appeal. This is another indictment of those members of the forensics board who were not re-appointed and are now crying foul. They sought to look into arson evidence well after the man was executed instead of doing so when he was still alive and allegations as to bad-science were being made to appellate courts and the pardons and paroles board. Again, more reason as to why changes were needed on the forensics board for the purpose of justice.

I finally discovered why this story is being pushed hard, aside from election politics. It came when I noticed that the latest big story on the matter, printed by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, turned out to be from a story in the Chicago Tribune. This story isn’t about Perry or his actions. It’s a story fueled by the anti-capital punishment crowd and an international push to make it appear Texas knowingly put to death an innocent man.

Robert Pratt is host of the top rated Pratt on Texas radio program which can be heard at

Here is more important background on the Willingham case:

This is one thing I really don't like about Kay. She and her peeps are actively stoking these flames just because they are harmful to Rick, damn the consequences to the criminal justice system, the death penalty, the reputation of Texas, or anything else. This story line is bad enough without her stepping in it... she should probably just avoid the subject and not look like such a political opportunist.

I went and looked at that link, and it is night and day the difference between the press almost everywhere versus the press in Corsicana where they know more of the facts and are familiar with the case. I will blog those later...

The media coverage in this situation has been what is criminal. Activists who want to end the death penalty have seized on this case... if one innocent person is executed the whole death penalty will go away immediately... that is why they are making such a big deal out of this even though from the looks of it this guy was guilty as sin.

I don't give Rick's peeps a total free pass on that though... his official state office has made almost no comment on this situation other than the one by Chris Cutrone I blogged last week (link)... I am not sure if that is press corps negligence or the Rick peeps not being aggressive enough fighting back against the mistruths... I bet the press are not willing to listen, is my hunch. They have made up their minds. He was innocent. Rick executed him. Rick is now trying to cover it up.

No evidence or commentary from any of Rick's peeps will ever convince the press of any alternative viewpoint...

1 comment:

  1. This has little to do with Willingham and everything to do with the hundreds of people currently in prison based on arson investigator testimony based on old wives tales on how fires start and spread. Perry dumped the panel so that the report issued by the commission wouldn't come out when voters are paying attention. Rick put politics above justice.

    For the record, I'm pro death penalty. There are some crimes where death is the only punishment that prevents injustice from reigning.


Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.