Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gov. Rick Perry: Cameron Todd Willingham "Was A Monster"

Lila Shapiro, The Huffington Post: Texas Governor Rick Perry insisted again today that the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham was appropriate and that Texas did not, contrary to growing opinion, execute an innocent man.

"Willingham was a monster. He was a guy who murdered his three children, who tried to beat his wife into an abortion so that he wouldn't have those kids. Person after person has stood up and testified to facts of this case that quite frankly you all aren't covering," Perry told the Associated Press on Wednesday.

Perry was already under fire for stifling a panel reviewing Willingham's case (he abruptly removed three people from the group 48 hours before the review, forcing its cancellation.). Now, the ousted head of the review panel claims he felt pressured by Gov. Perry's aides to shut down the probe. The Houston Chronicle reports:

Lawyers representing Gov. Rick Perry on two occasions grilled Austin lawyer Sam Bassett on the activities of his Texas Forensic Science Commission, telling him its probe into a controversial Corsicana arson case was inappropriate and opining that the hiring of a nationally known fire expert was a "waste of state money," the ousted commission chairman said Tuesday.

Bassett, who served two two-year terms as commission chairman before Perry replaced him on Sept. 30, said he was so concerned about what he considered "pressure" from the lawyers that he conferred with an aide to state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, who reassured him "the commission was doing what it's supposed to do."

Basset added that he was told by aides that the group "should be more forward-looking, more current rather than examining older cases."

LSB: Yet another example of why Perry needs to go. I'm not sure Kay Bailey Hutchinson willbe any better, so is there a Dem on the horizon that can win the governorship next year?

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