If you have been paying attention at all, you know that the Texas death penalty machine has been operating at full tilt – 508 executions since 1982, with 16 in just 2013. This includes the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, and it had become abundantly clear, even before his execution, that Willingham was actually innocent.
Texas is now getting ready to execute Rodney Reed for a murder that it is likely somebody else committed. This could be confirmed by simple DNA testing of items from the crime scene, and has been requested by his attorney and The Innocence Project. But the state of Texas has steadfastly refused to do the testing, and in a hearing held just last Tuesday, a Texas judge has ruled that no further DNA testing is warranted. See the report on that hearing by The Intercept here.
CNN has posted a story by Dan Simon about the case, and you can read that story here.
This from the CNN story:
“Why on earth, one wonders, would Texas battle fiercely against conducting the testing? Would it be naive to propose the state should welcome it?
The answer cannot be the meager costs of running the tests or the negligible time they would take to run. Nor could the state claim to be acting out of respect for the victim’s loved ones — a dubious justification from the outset — given that numerous members of her (the victim’s) family are campaigning publicly on Reed’s behalf.
The best explanation for the state’s aversion to the testing may be the dread of learning the truth. The prospect of finding that Reed is innocent would deliver a resounding condemnation of the state’s criminal justice process — its detectives, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, jurors and appellate courts.”
There is significant case detail in the original story by The Intercept, which you can read here.