Amnesty International does not comment or take sides on elections. But everyone knows that Rick Perry, Texas Governor for over a decade, is now running for President. And everyone knows that during his tenure as Texas Governor, he has presided over a lot of executions. The total now sits at 234 (40% of all US executions carried out since Perry became Governor in December 2000).
Many folks also know that at least one of those, Cameron Todd Willingham, was probably innocent, and that evidence of his innocence was ignored by Governor Perry in the days and hours before Willingham was put to death. And that an investigation into the dubious forensics that led to Willingham’s conviction was sidetracked when Perry suddenly put Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley in charge (Bradley is now being accused of withholding evidence of innocence in a case in his home county).
But there have been other cases of possible innocence, and, as currently scheduled, Perry’s 240th execution would be of Henry Skinner, a man whose innocence claim the Lone Star State is refusing to examine.
BY THE NUMBERS
9 – The number of prisoners suffering severe mental illness who, according to a 2006 Amnesty International report, were put to death during the first half of Rick Perry’s tenure
8 – The number of Texas prisoners who “volunteered” to be executed under Rick Perry
7 – The number of foreign nationals executed under Rick Perry, most of whom were denied their rights under U.S. treaty obligations
4 – The number of juvenile offenders executed under Rick Perry (before the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed such executions in 2005)
2 – The number of men put to death under Rick Perry for crimes in which they were not the killer
1 – The number of clemencies granted by Rick Perry that were not required by court rulings