blogadmin | 29 January, 2010 15:36
I've been following by live webcast the meeting of the Texas Forensic Science Commission today in Harlingen. If commissioners were meeting any farther from Austin, they'd be in Mexico.
How ironic that Texans must rely on a webcast by the New York City-basedto follow the suddenly far-flung activities of a state commission that, until recently, has operated in an accessible manner.
Gov. Rick Perry's fall partner, new commission Chairman John Bradley, continues to use a combination of legerdemain and hubris to hijack the commission, thwart the Legislature's intent, and prevent completion of the commission's investigation into the science that led to the execution of Todd Willingham for arson-murder convictions in a fire that may not have been deliberately set.
Texas put Todd Willingham to death six years ago for arson-murder convictions that were recently called into question by a state panel's probe that has been stalled by Gov. Perry's machinations.
Bradley's performance evinces a lack of respect for commissioners, taxpayers, legislators, and sham-science victims that is so broad in impact, it approaches the criminal.
I wonder what it will take for the Texas Legislature to call Perry's surrogate to task for his outrageous actions and get the commission back to its important work?
Perry may be in a tough primary fight, but that does not confer on him new constitutional powers to, in effect, replace the head of a commission with his co-conspirator in order to override the authority of the and prevent voters from hearing the likely but politically inconvenient conclusion that an innocent man was executed on his watch.
On the other hand, if Perry isn't challenged effectively, those powers are, de facto, his.
Elizabeth Ann Stein produces EXECUTION WATCH on KPFT FM Houston 90.1, HD-2 and www.executionwatch.org. The program, hosted by Ray Hill, airs at 6 p.m. Central Time any day Texas executes someone. It is designed to counteract the virtual news blackout in the mainstream media when prisoners are executed. She has worked as a political reporter for United Press International, police reporter at a daily newspaper, and an editor for PC Week.