Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Witness Clears Man Executed In Texas for 1985 Slaying

People always ask me why I'm against the death penalty, and this is a prime example of why. No alleged deterrant ability is worth the price we pay when we execute the innocent. This just makes me sick to my stomach.

A decade after Ruben Cantu was executed for capital murder, the only witness to the crime is recanting and his co-defendant says Cantu, then 17, was not even with him that night.

The victim was shot nine times with a rifle during an attempted robbery before the gunman shot the only witness.

That witness, Juan Moreno, told the Houston Chronicle for its Sunday editions that Cantu was not the killer. Moreno said he identified him at the 1985 trial because he felt pressured and feared authorities.

Cantu, who had maintained his innocence, was executed on Aug. 24, 1993, at age 26. "Texas murdered an innocent person," co-defendant David Garza said.

Sam D. Millsap Jr., the district attorney who handled the case, said he never should have sought the death penalty in a case based on testimony from a witness who identified a suspect only after police showed him a photo three times.

Posted by crimnos @ 7:32 AM

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I am totally against the death penalty as well. For one, being Buddhist but two, the chance of killing the innocent is too high.

As this case proves and I am not surprised it happened in death penalty happy TX.

I wonder how that D.A. can sleep at night.

Oh yeah and prosecuting the death penalty is more expensive then LWOP (Life without parole).

Posted by Blogger james @ 2:02 PM #
 

If you really want to get into it, do a little looking into the Houston Crime Lab, down here where I live. There has been a huge scandal about bad technique and outright manufacturing of DNA reports.

They're having to re examine thousands of cases. People have been convicetd almost solely on that bad evidence.

It is an absolute horror.

Posted by Blogger mikevotes @ 10:40 PM #
 

I am also against the death penalty. Texas is Exhibit A for my belief.

The cousin of a friend of mine is on death row in Texas. He has schizophrenia, has been denied medication for years, and literally has no clue what's going on in his day-to-day life, let alone why he's in prison.

I grew up in Illinois. Former Gov Ryan did a lot wrong during his administration, but one of the things he did right was to declare a moratorium on the death penalty. I was never prouder to be an Illinoisan than at that moment.

Posted by Blogger alice_pants @ 11:48 AM #
 
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