Monday, February 1, 2010

Hank Skinner Part X: The End

Compare the two photos below.  They are nearly identical. Nearly.
The student of history will recognize the photos to be of Vladimir Lenin surrounded by supporters and random members of the proletariat. That’s Lenin in the center. He’s wearing the dark coat that extends to the bottom of the photo.

Even a casual observer will realize that the second photo is simply an altered version of the first. Several people have been removed. Working counter-clockwise from Lenin’s head, the following people in the first photo are missing from the second: the man in the upper left corner with the pronounced full-facial beard and moustache; the man in the lower right corner with the dark eyes and dark beard; and the man just to the right of Lenin, the one with the hat and glasses, the one saluting.

I can’t identify either of the first two people who have gone missing. The third person, the one saluting, is Leon Trotsky. He criticized Stalin’s leadership, was exiled to Mexico, assassinated there, and removed from the Soviet’s official history.

The two photos are not oddities. They are not unusual, nor are they examples unique to the Soviet Union. Oppressive states sustain themselves in part by controlling information. People disappear from photos as they disappear from life; data are altered; inconvenient results suppressed or destroyed.

Even states that consider themselves enlightened, as do they all, fall victim to the temptations of controlling information.

I find it inconceivable that the prints lifted from a trash bag, containing a bloody knife, found at a murder scene, would not automatically be compared against state and federal fingerprint databases. I find it simply inconceivable.

I find it suspicious that a rape kit sent for post-conviction DNA testing, sent “to put a few more nails in that man’s coffin,” would simply disappear. As did the man with the full-facial beard.

I find it too convenient that broken fingernail clippings sent for post-conviction DNA testing, sent because John Mann “knew that bastard was guilty”, would simply vanish. As did the man with the dark eyes.

I find it deplorable that the state of Texas would refuse to reveal even the location of that rape kit and those fingernail clippings, to refuse even to acknowledge their very existence.

I find it reprehensible that the state of Texas, via its representative John Mann, would for seven months inform its citizenry that the hairs found clutched in Twila Busby’s lifeless hand justified its intent to kill Hank Skinner, when in fact that very evidence exonerated him.

And I find it execrable that those who have the power to intervene refuse to do so, refuse to insist that the DNA be tested and the fingerprints be compared prior to the execution of one of their own.

2 comments:

ISpyMyBlackEye said...

Thank you for your series on this frustrating case, which has really had me heated at the state of Texas unlike any other in a long time. Knowing that evidence was "stored for safe keeping" and then "somehow" ended up with the handprint/fingerprints scratched off of it anyhow was sickening enough in my eyes. Along with the examples you listed above of the items that were kept back for so long, most likely under the assumption that theyd either make no difference to the verdict or that theyd endanger the defendant more. I cannot imagine this mans frustration on death row, from where he cannot freely go out and about to insure things happen and get done and instead has to just hopefully rely upon others meanwhile while fighting with the state to release and test DNA on many items never tested or never discussed at trial. If they truly would have been damning to his case as someone once stated, then why did he fight for the past decade or more to have them tested and "let the chips fall where they may" as he says. He is certain. And now, on top of all the games and tricks already that have been played with the evidence and with the DNA testing, we find out that after (I believe) 12 years, in July the state agreed to it. LOL! Of course they did, they had probably already made sure the stuff that excluded Skinner's DNA was ruined or missing! That was my first thought upon hearing such a change of heart after over ten years of people begging and offering to pay or do pro bono, etc. It didnt make sense. Now, come to find out, a week or two after granting the "okay" to test the evidence we find out what hasnt been damaged or destroyed is now missing......and here is what truly kills me even more after what has already gone on during this case to conceal the truth- the most important (possibly and at least I believe) piece of evidence has come up missing which was reported AFTER the state granted the right to test the DNA. I knew it! These devils! We now find out that THE JACKET that lay next to Twila Busby's body, the huge sized wind breaker like jacket, that even you referred to in your earlier posts in this series as a DNA gold mine which it would have been, has been gone from the evidence locker for God knows how long. When asked, the man in charge of the evidence storage said something about how it was transported to the trial and then back to them, and other than that they have no idea what could have happened to it. "We just cant seem to find that thing anywhere!" he said in an interview. Oh please! I am tired of being played for a fool by states like Texas. This is so obvious it makes me feel SICK. I only found 2 articles about the missing jacket, both published by Huffington Post and Amarillo News Website between the 13th and 15th of the same month that the state finally gave in (according to news articles published on the 1st) after forever and said OKAY to the DNA testing. Why am I not surprised?

ISpyMyBlackEye said...

These cruel hell bound crooks will go to any length in able to make sure that no one ever has to admit that they were wrong about someones conviction. Any length! Anyone who doesnt believe me will now be referred to look into this case, specifically the DNA testing issue and the evidence problems that came to light once granted the go ahead to test on the first of that month. Its the same as saying okay man, we will give you what you want, drop your lawsuit against us, but you sure wont get to test what you wanted to test! I have never before saw such a fight between the state and a defendant for the truth in my life where the state goes to such extremes to alter evidence/remove it/destroy it when its supposedly "secured at the sheriffs station" etc. Nothing and NOBODY is secure period in the state of Texas. seems as if once you are stuck with a wrongful conviction, you are stuck no matter what you can prove, seeing as THEY never approach anything without tons of tricks already waiting for the future if yanked out again for use of proving anything AGAINST the state although Im sure that if anything proved against the defense, it would lay around the evidence lockers UNTOUCHED and UNBOTHERED for years and years until the room rotted. So obvious. So sickening. So pathetic- Texas. When is enough ever enough?? Im starting to think never with the way that state behaves itself. Hellbound, for sure. All of them involved if an innocent man is executed AGAIN at the hands of liars, crooks, and pushy hateful power tripping law officers who bully others into false confessions out of fear for their loved ones. I hope they enjoy the ride when their end comes. Lord knows theyve been front and center when it involved the end of so many others before them. I hope they are proud of themselves and that their families are proud of them as well, along with the victims families that they pretend to care so much about when the real goal is just getting who is the easiest to convict, which even as a VICTIMS family member (which I have been by the way before I get any rude replies here) if the need to look at things differently and be skeptical as discussed at this blog is there, I would do it. However, as long as the family is yelling KILL THEM NOW at the state, the state puts out word to the public that the "family needs justice, to bring this 20-30 yr hell to an end!" but yet such as the case of Johnny Martinez (TX, already executed, not innocent) if its reversed and the victims mother meets with him to forgive him and does her best to help him avoid the death penalty, because as she correctly stated, her sons life was enough and he had a forgiving heart like no other, why take anymore lives and hurt another mother? Her words fell upon deaf (stupid) ears, but they would have been granted like a wish had it been the reverse being requested, kill him soon I need my justice! Whatever, Texas. I am seriously starting to wonder about the entire place. Good luck to all the brainwashed believers in the justice system out there, Im sure youll make great jurors some day when needed since you are already so proud of executions and dead set on the fact that none have ever been innocent when killed, ever. I guess rather than be realistic and look for the truth, some people are safer and better off just remaining STUPID in that case, fine by me. Actions speak louder than words and Ive already seen enough without hearing how happy they are for the blood of another innocent or not because they trust their governor and their state so so much. God help em if the situation is ever reversed and they are in the hot seat. Too late, now still love your state!

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