JEFF PEARLMAN

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An evil man

cameron-todd5

Texas governor Rick Perry is up for re-election.

Throughout his career, he has blathered on about morals and decency and God and love and justice and pride.

He is full of shit.

If there is one story you should read, it is this. Really, read it. It concerns a man named Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed after a lengthy stint on death row in 2004. Willingham was accused of intentionally killing his three children in a house fire, but—as it turns out—the blaze was almost certainly not deliberate. Yet despite the repeated—and convincing—efforts of people to prove that Willingham had done nothing wrong, Perry refused to suspend or call off the execution. According to the governor, the man deserved to die—innocent be damned.

And that was just the beginning.

Two weeks ago, with no stated justification, Perry removed the chairman of a state commission investigating the forensics of the fire. Furthermore, the chairman now says that members of Perry’s staff had tried to pressure him into directing the panel away from offering any details that might humiliate the governor. Here, read this.

Let’s think about this. Really, really think about it. We all get one shot at life. When it’s done, it’s done. If there’s any remote … slight … tiny doubt that someone about to be executed is not guilty, you must—as a moral human being—call off dropping the hammer. Or, even better, you must follow George Ryan, the former Illinois governor, and suspend the death penalty all together.

But, alas, Rick Perry is a scumbag politician. He has an election to win … a tough image to support … hands to shake.

Cameron Todd Willingham is dead.

Rick Perry is very much alive.