Were it not for our world gone mad, this is the sort of thing I wish I was able to report more about. According to a recent report in the Houston Chronicle it appears that an innocent man was likely executed in the state in 1993.
The prosecutor, the jury forewoman and the one lone eye-witness all seem to now believe they executed an innocent man.
From Reuters coverage of the Chronicle's story:
Cantu, only 17 when the crime took place, was convicted of murdering Pedro Gomez during a 1984 robbery largely on the testimony of a single eyewitness, Juan Moreno. Moreno, then 19, an illegal immigrant wounded during the robbery, now says he is positive Cantu was not at the scene.
Moreno twice failed to identify Cantu to police, but did so when they asked him a third time, the Chronicle said. Cantu was put to death by lethal injection in 1993, when he was 26.
"(Police) told me they were certain it was him, and that's why I testified," Moreno told the newspaper. "That was bad to blame someone that was not there."
Miriam Ward, forewoman of the jury that sent Cantu to his fate, said the entire process failed.
"We did the best we could with the information we had, but with a little extra work, a little extra effort, maybe we'd have gotten the right information," she told the newspaper. "The bottom line is an innocent person was put to death for it. We all have our finger in that."
Perhaps the worst part is that Cantu could not have been executed today since the Supreme Court "ruled this year that executions are illegal for crimes committed by minors."
In the meantime, I haven't been able to find where I read it recently, but as I recall there has been a move afoot by lawmakers to decrease the length of time that Death Row inmates have to appeal their cases and/or prove their innocence. (I welcome any BRAD BLOG readers who might have links to post on that in comments.)
Prior to the systematic killing of thousands of innocent folks around the world, I might have liked to have spent more time in the pursuit of stopping the shameful practice of our government killing its own citizens...whether they are guilty of a crime or not. No government should be in the business of putting its own citizens to death. Period. Our country has plenty of shame to go around for this continuing and morally reprehensible practice.
(Hat-tip RAW STORY for the reminder about this story!)