George W. Bush Allowed Texas Man to Be Put to Death Because of Someone Else's DNA
As if we needed another reason to believe the death penalty is a complete disaster, it has just been revealed that a Texas man was executed a decade ago based on DNA that was not his.
The Texas Observerand the Innocence Project teamed up recently to have a DNA test performed on a hair sample from the case of Claude Jones, who was put to death in December 2000 for murdering an East Texas liquor store owner. The hair was the only piece of physical evidence in the case, and the prosecution argued at the time that it belonged to Jones.
It turns out that the prosecution was wrong. According to Innocence Project co-founder and co-director Barry C. Scheck:
The DNA results prove that testimony about the hair sample on which this entire case rests was just wrong. This is yet another disturbing example of a miscarriage of justice in Texas capital murder prosecutions. Unreliable forensic science and a completely inadequate post-conviction review process cost Claude Jones his life.
George Bush, who was awaiting a decision from the Florida Supreme Court on whether the presidential election recount would continue, denied Jones’ request for a 30 day stay of execution to do DNA test on the hair sample.
Claude Jones' son Duane was interviewed this week by the Houston Chronicle:
I was 98 percent sure of what he was telling me, but now I believe him 100 percent. He was railroaded. He did not shoot that man. I think not only am I owed an apology, but so is everybody in the whole state of Texas.
Former President Bush, is there anything you'd like to say?