Monday, November 21, 2005

The tipping point

The Houston Chronicle has published a two-part series strongly suggesting that Ruben Cantu, executed in 1993 under the watch of Texas Gov. Ann Richards, was innocent. The highly unusual series is too long to post here, so I'll just leave you with this United Press International report that sums it up:

Texas may have executed innocent man

When Texas executed Ruben Cantu in 1993, the state likely put an innocentman to death, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Cantu was executed for the 1984 murder of Pedro Gomez. Cantu was 17 when he was tried, with no previous convictions, but a prosecutor portrayed him as a violent gang member who shot Gomez and then shot
the only eyewitnesswho survived and identified Cantu.

The newspaper reports the judge, prosecutor, jury foreman and defense attorney in the case now acknowledge the conviction seems to have been built on omissions and lies.

Cantu's co-defendant recently signed a sworn affidavit saying he allowed Cantu to be accused falsely. The man who survived the shooting recanted, telling the Chronicle he felt pressure from police to identify Cantu.

Sam Millsap Jr., the prosecutor, now says he should not have sought the death penalty in a case based on testimony from a witness who identified Cantu only after police showed him Cantu's photo 3 times.

"It's so questionable," said Millsap. "There are so many places where it could break down. "No physical evidence tied Cantu to the crime and investigators never interviewed witnesses who could have provided an alibi for Cantu."

4 comments:

Obiwanadobe said...

A horrible story, to say the least. I can only hope that more people will hear about this, talk about this and I can only hope stop cases like Ruben Cantu's from ever happening again.

Bear said...

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http://www.illlmethinks.com

Anonymous said...

I support the death penalty. However, I strongly suggest that states are not making rash decsisions when they execute a human being. This is a terrible story and I hope that this does not continure to occur.

Anonymous said...

People should look at this and think what did they tell his family, mother, father, when they find out they had no reason to kill him. plus they had a prttey weak case at best. The death penalty while it may deter murders, how many innocent people were killed for being convited asa murder.