Rick Perry Covers His Collusion In Faulty Execution

The cover-up for a state-sponsored murder begins:

Gov. Rick Perry has replaced the head of a state commission that is investigating a questionable finding of arson in the case that led to the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, just as the commission was due to hold a public hearing examining the case.

The commission had hired a nationally known expert whose review of the Willingham case was released last month. The author, Craig Beyler, called the investigation slipshod and determined that almost all of the evidence presented was based on junk science....

This week, the governor chose not to extend the terms of Austin lawyer Sam Bassett, former chair of the commission, as well as two others on the nine-member Texas Forensic Science Commission. The new commission chair promptly canceled Friday's meeting on the Beyler report...

Perry's challenger in the March Republican primary, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, said that the case has not been handled properly.

"Why you wouldn't at least have the hearing that the former member suggested, to find out what the facts are, when a man has been executed and now the facts are in dispute - just like DNA has given more tools to determine the facts," she said. "I am strongly for the death penalty, but always with the absolute assurance that you have the ability to be sure - with the technology that we have - that a person is guilty

I'm not even surprised. Again, it's very hard for people to admit error. They will lie, cover evidence, kill the messenger before admitting that they're wrong. The higher the stakes, the harder the heart, and the deader the mind.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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