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J Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Saturday before the gubernatorial primary. She lost with 30 percent of the vote. A Predator drone U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO LEARN MORE about Predator drones at www.ga.com/index.php “I am winning.” Farouk Shami to the Texas Tribune before the election. Shami lost the Democratic primary for governor to former Houston Mayor Bill White by a 75-13 percent margin. “I absolutely believe that we’ll make the runoff.” Debra Medina, Republican tea-party candidate for governor, two weeks before the primary. She lost with 19 percent. when they were exonerated. That’s 17 innocent people who would have been executed had DNA testing not cleared them. You have to assume there’s been an innocent person somewhere who wasn’t lucky enough to have testable DNA and was wrongly executedpossibly in Texas and possibly Cameron Todd Willingham, executed in 2004 for killing his three children in a house fire. Forensic experts who have since studied the case believe the fire was accidental. There are numerous causes of wrongful convictions, but by far the most common is witnesses pointing out the wrong person. Seventy-six percent of the exonerees were sent to prison, at least in part, by witness misidentification. In 38 percent of the cases, more than one eyewitness wrongly identified an innocent person. \(It was witness misidentification that sent a Texas Tech student named Tim Cole to prison in 1987 for a rape he didn’t commit. Cole died in prison in 1999 and was exonerated by DNA testing last year. Gov . Rick Perry finally pardoned Cole in early Marchwhich is why he wasn’t on the Innocence Project’s list a month earlier. It’s the first Finally, the 250 wrongful convictions allowed the actual perpetrators to later commit at least 72 violent crimes that could have been prevented. This is a facet that’s often overlooked. Wrongful convictions harm many people, not just the person imprisoned. After the Innocence Project report’s release in early February, it took just two weeks for the 251st wrongful conviction to pop up. Cole will soon be added to the list. Many more are surely coming. DAVE MANN MILITARIZING THE BORDER Predator vs. Aliens “If I was feeling any better I’d think it was a frame-up.” Former Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle on the Democratic primary race for lieutenant governor. He lost to Linda Chavez-Thompson with 35 percent. “I think I can win, and I think I can win in November.” Kinky Friedman, to the El Paso Times in February, on beating Hank Gilbert in the Democratic primary for Agricultural Commissioner. “The Kinkster” lost. “I would be absolutely shocked if I got anything less than a majority of the vote.” Marc Katz, speaking to the Observer on primary day. Katz finished a distant third in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor with 12 percent. FOR THE LATEST political analysis, read Bob Moser’s Purple Texas at www.texasobserver.org/purpletexas THE TEXAS-MEXICO BORDER HAS BECOME SO militarizedwhat with the wall, the video cameras, the ground sensors, and the soldiers and Border Patrol agents. Now a Texas congressman is talking about a Predator drone circling overhead. Congressman Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Laredo, is pushing for a drone to patrol the border. These are the same unmanned, remote-piloted drones that are bombing Pakistani tribal areas. Under Cuellar’s proposal, the border drone would be for surveillance only and wouldn’t be loaded with missilesat least not yet. The San Antonio Express -News reported recently that Cuellar plans to ask officials from Homeland Security and the Federal Aviation Administration in April to authorize the border drone. Cuellar told the newspaper that drones could help monitor remote areas that are hard to patrol on the ground. Each drone costs about $4.5 million. They also seem to have a propensity for crashing, according to the Congressional Research Service. And the FAA has questioned whether the drones can safely operate in high-traffic airspace, according to the Express -News. The prospect of drones on the border is great news for the California firm General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., which makes the multi-million dollar Predators, but perhaps not so great for border communities and their civil liberties. Where does the militarization end? MELISSA DEL BOSQUE 4 THE TEXAS OBSERVER WWW.TEXASOBSERVER.ORG