Report: Texas Executed The Wrong Man Because He Looked Like The Real Murderer
May 16, 2012 in Death Penalty
Last year, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) admitted that he “never struggled . . . at all” with whether someone his state executed might have been innocent. Yet a new book written by Columbia Law Professor James Liebman shows that Carlos DeLuna, executed by Texas in 1989, was innocent. According to Liebman, DeLuna was wrongfully convicted and executed for the murder of Wanda Lopez following a botched investigation. DeLuna and the man believed to have committed the murder, Carlos Hernandez, looked so much alike that they were mistaken for each other in photographs by family members. However, DeLuna, who was clean-shaven and wearing a white shirt, did not fit the description of the eyewitness who said that the murderer was wearing flannel and had a mustache. Police arrested DeLuna anyway and failed to do a formal lineup. Police also failed to formally examine the crime scene, ignoring foot and fingerprints, not taking blood samples, and allowing the scene to be cleaned by gas station employees.