How Many Has the US Wrongfully Executed?

Investigation in Columbia Human Rights Law Review shows how Texas executed innocent man in 1989

The new issue of Columbia Human Rights Law Review documents how on December 8, 1989, the state of Texas executed an innocent man in a case of mistaken identities.

Carlos DeLuna (Corpus Christi Police Department)

Reporting for The Guardian, Ed Pilkington writes how these two Carloses “were not just namesakes” (tocayos in Spanish), “they were the same height and weight, and looked so alike that they were sometimes mistaken for twins. When Carlos Hernandez’s lawyer saw pictures of the two men, he confused one for the other, as did DeLuna’s sister Rose.”

DeLuna maintained his innocence up to the moment of his execution, and identified Hernandez as the killer.

Liebman’s investigation found that “it was a house of cards. We found that everything that could go wrong did go wrong.”

The report also documents that Texas Death House Chaplain Carroll Pickett, who had officiated at 95 executions including DeLuna’s, was haunted by the execution of DeLuna and became an outspoken critic of the death penalty.

Coverage from The Guardian HERE

Coverage from The Atlantic HERE

New York Times Editorial HERE

Video from Al-Jazeera

More than 20 years after Texas executed Carlos DeLuna, a study reveals he was innocent. Support for capital punishment in the US has been on the decline over the last two decades. We take a closer look at the DeLuna case and what it says about capital punishment in the country, and the flaws in its implementation. Guests: Shawn Crowley, Bruce Fein, Richard Dieter.

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