Politics

Audio: Did Texas Gov. Rick Perry Execute an Innocent Man?

| by Michael Allen

On his radio show yesterday (audio below), radio host Thom Hartmann spoke with Texas journalist Jim Hightower about Gov. Rick Perry, who signed execution orders for Cameron Willingham in 2004, a man whom Hightower (and others) says was “almost certainly” innocent.

During the radio show, Hightower stated: “This guy (Rick Perry) really puts the goober in gubernatorial. This man, who claims to be a man of religion and morality, seems to have no conscience at all about doing some rather ugly things."



In 1991, Willingham's three daughters died in a Corsicana, Texas house fire. Tried and convicted for their arson murders, Willingham was executed in 2004 by Gov. Rick Perry.

However, an explosive 2009 article in The New Yorker suggested that the evidence was unconvincing and had additional information been available at the time of the trial, Willingham would have been acquitted.

Also, according to an August 2009 investigative report by an expert hired by the Texas Forensic Science Commission, the original claims of arson were doubtful.

The case was complicated by allegations that Rick Perry blocked an investigation of the case by replacing three of the nine commission members in an apparent attempt to change the commission's findings.