The question of convicting the innocent has become all too common a topic in recent months. In October an explosive article by The New Yorker gave life once again to Cameron Todd Willingham, a death row inmate executed in 2004 for a crime he quiet possibly did not commit; on March 1 Governor Rick Perry issued a posthumous pardon to Timothy Cole’s family- Cole was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a rape charge DNA evidence cleared him of nearly a decade too late, Cole passed away in prison from an asthma attack in 1999; Hank Skinner could have been next on that list were it not for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to stay his scheduled execution on March 24, 2010.
On March 26, 2010 San Antonio Express News published an article titled “Justice is about more than conviction rates.” The opinion piece covers the Cole pardon as well as addressing the issue associated with electing individuals not so concerned with convictions themselves, but convicting the right criminals: “The knowledge that Texas’ justice system so thoroughly failed..should spur people of conscience to commit themselves to building a justice system that not only convicts the guilty but protects the innocent. It begins with electing [those] whose first commitment is to justice for innocent.”
The entire Express News article is available here.
And continuing coverage of Hank Skinner’s stay of execution by the Supreme Court is available through the following publications:
“Beyond the shadow of doubt”- Wichita Falls Times Record News; article available here.
“Justices may opt to settle DNA issue”- Houston Chronicle; article available here.
“Justices Delay Execution, May Examine DNA Testing Issue”- Legal Times; article available here.