Rick Perry’s Republican Party used every dirty trick they could think of to keep voters from deciding elections. After laying-off tens of thousands of teachers, I can understand why Republicans don’t want to face voters. Thankfully the courts are not going to let them disenfranchise millions of Texans with these illegal maps.
Republicans drew blatantly illegal maps then tried to game the system by going through the courts rather than the Department of Justice. Yet even the courts threw their dirty maps out the window. The courts said what we’ve been saying all along. These illegal maps trample on the voting rights of Texans and don’t allow voters to elect their candidates of choice.
The real losers in this process are the voters. Texas voters are seeing Republican discrimination and obstructionism at all levels but don’t know which Republicans they’ll have a chance to vote against this election cycle.
This entire process could have been avoided if Republicans would have drawn maps based on demographics rather than their own shallow political ambitions.
So says Hank Skinner, a Texas inmate who is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Wednesday. He maintains that he is innocent, untested DNA evidence might exonerate him, but officials in Texas are fighting his request for DNA testing.
Why are don’t they want to test the evidence? Let’s ask them:
[Gray County District Attorney Lynn] Switzer’s office refused comment on the case to CNN on Thursday. [Governor Rick] Perry’s office referred questions to the attorney general’s office, which also denied comment.
In court, “Texas state attorneys argued … that the testing should not be conducted because there was not a reasonable probability the trial jury would have found Skinner innocent if the testing had been done for his trial.”
In other words, if DNA testing put someone else at the scene of the crime, as Skinner has maintained for years, these attorneys believe that the jury would still have found him guilty of the murders and sentenced him to death.
Why would they have done that?
A female friend of Skinner’s who lived four blocks away testified at his trial that he walked to her mobile home and told her that he may have kicked Twila Busby to death.
Pretty compelling. Except that “evidence did not show she had been kicked.” And “The neighbor has since recanted parts of her testimony.”
So … less compelling, then.
By the way, Skinner and opponents of the death penalty aren’t the only ones who want the evidence tested:
[The victims’] family has also pressed state officials to do the forensic testing, saying it would end the years-long delay while Skinner has pressed his legal claims. The family, including Busby’s surviving daughter, believes Skinner is guilty.
Petition Governor Perry to withdraw Skinner’s execution warrant and order DNA testing here.