The Problem for Perry

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Dave Mann

Kay Bailey Hutchison is gingerly, and ever so slightly, becoming more critical of Rick Perry’s controversial decision to remove three members of the Forensic Science Commission just days before a key hearing on the case of Cameron Todd Willingham case, a likely innocent man executed in 2004.

Hutchison said yesterday that she disagrees with the removals and — while still stressing her support for the death penalty — said she wouldn’t have made such a move.

The Willingham case has become quite the political problem for Perry.

For one, documents are leaking out that show even some of Perry’s own appointees to the Forensic Science Commission lobbied the governor not to remove chairman Sam Bassett, according to reports from several media outlets.

And two, Perry’s camp doesn’t have a good defense. Spokesman Mark Miner responded, according to the AP, that “Hutchison doesn’t have all the facts.”

Doesn’t have all the facts? That seems unlikely after this 16,000-word New Yorker story.

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Dave Mann is a former editor of the Observer.


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