What little trust I had in the judicial system has vanished. A free country does not execute in the face of doubt (or even execute at all, some would argue). I cannot say that we are free, yet alone a first world country now. Your efforts to fight these wrongs will pay off in the long term. The USA has a history of not acknowledging or correcting wrongdoing in a timely manner, if it all. I appreciate what you do, because this was not just on behalf of Preston, but for the American people. We all benefit from justice, truth and fairness. We all suffer from injustice, prejudice, and coverups. This case was overflowing with all three of these.
Texas is a little bit safer tonight.
ANON,PRESTON HUGHES WAS WRONGFULLY EXECUTED. HE WAS INNOCENT, READ:http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2012-11-02/framing-the-guilty/all/
Texas has executed many likely innocent people before,as you have said...I cannot believe that Preston Hughes tonight sadly joined their ranks with his death.R.I.P. Mr. Hughes.
Wishing you all the strength in the world...:(
ANON,please enlighten yourself with 'the skeptical juror's' previous posts.+http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2012-11-02/framing-the-guilty/all/PRESTON HUGHES WAS INNOCENT.Please continue to fight for my innocence even though I'm gone." - PRESTON HUGHES - RIP
This is sad indeed! No person should be executed until all matters have been resolved and investigated properly. Thanks TSJ for all your hard work on this. We laud all your efforts. You did not fail, you opened more doors to show that the death penalty, in instances like this, is not the solution. To Texas: "When in doubt, don't kill!". Our sincerest condolences to Preston's family.
Good ! Glad the murderer is gone !
I guess I was naive enough to think from the moment I read Al's initial review of the case that despite all the looming obstacles the quest for accuracy and truth would prevail in this life or death struggle.TSJ, please take some miniscule measure of comfort in knowing that your efforts on this case have inspired others to become much more actively involved in preventing future injustices like this. -Matt in California
Hughes was GUILTY and all you namby pamby killer lovers can go cry a river. It makes me sick when all you people try to get murderers off on technicalities when you KNOW they did it.
One of the victims TOLD the police that it was Preston Hughes that hurt her and tried to rape her. Even one of Hughes attorneys said Hughes was GUILTY. Hughes confessed at first and then tried to take it back. Hughes was involved in other rapes. GUILTY.
ANON 1 AND ANON 2,Please enlighten yourself with the information tsj wrote in his previous posts.'It is simply not medically feasible that this young woman, particularly given the fact that one's heart rate accelerates during stress, and thus blood loss occurs more rapidly, could have spoken to the officers as they claimed,' wrote Dr. Robert White, Dr. Robert White, who was chief medical examiner in Nueces County before joining the Fort Worth forensics department.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2232323/Preston-Hughes-III-Death-Row-inmate-offers-medical-proof-police-lied-key-evidence.htmlhttp://www.skepticaljuror.com/2012/10/hughes-news-bloody-pristine-shorts.html'Please continue to fight for my innocence even though I'm gone.'
ahh america you make me laugh..!Although hundreds of supporters have tried to persuade the texas courts and the texas pardons and paroles Board to spare the life of hughes, the board and the courts have held fast, refusing clemency. Why? because the actual court case was solid; it is only in the “realm of public relations” where Hughes appears innocent of killing those two children,the doubt being raised in the case is “manufactured.”This can easily happen over a long period of time,with organisations like Amnesty International using articulate and polished individuals to create such doubt,and this knock on effect "grooms and manipulates" individuals like the skeptical juror and others. The outrage surrounding this case has nothing to do with Hughes or the facts of the case, and everything to do with anti-death penalty advocates.Are your courts that blind,no,they can just see the difference between the hype and upholding the law. This really has nothing to do with Preston Hughes, but It has everything to do with the death penalty. Rob B. England
John you did amazing stuff with the little time you had. I'm sure you feel gutted. Thank you for all you did.
To all the posters advocating Mr Hughes' execution, please take your gloating elsewhere. There are plenty of pro death penalty websites available to air such views. Unless you are familiar with the case (and not just because you have read the details in the Texas tribune or the Urban forum), then please rethink before posting ignorant or childish comments - this is a place for rational debates and discussions.
@Rob B. England: You are so totally wrong. Besides the 1000 things that might went wrong with this trial; there is DNA evidence that can be checked to proof the guilt or innocence of Preston Hughes. Its medieval to execute someone when there is a reasonable chance that this evidence proofs his innocence.
I live in England. I used to live in Florida where the death penalty does nothing to deter murder and rape. But the STATE gets rid of these vile people, where we just tick them off and give them 25 years maximum to plan their next attack. Times have moved on since the middle ages, police don't just frame innocent people. If you commit a henus crime, man up and take the punishment. He's gonna say he's innocent because he's loosing his life. Just like those innocent children list theirs. I bet his Mum wasn't the only one crying, he probably pee'd his pants as God pointed the finger and said "you are going down, mate".
TSJ: Thanks for all your work and effort in this case. I agree with "Matt from California" and "Andy". You made me read the whole story for about two weeks and tonight I was awake at night (Germany, 3am) until the sad news were confirmed. I'm deeply sorry that it turned out this way. For me - maybe especially as a german with all the injustice and cruelties we did once - it's hard to understand why there is still a death penalty and why a man had to be executed while there is so much doubt about his guilt.To all the the Anons celebrating the execution: I bet you haven't read the whole case and I wish you would - then rewrite your comments. You may also take notice of the fact that TSJ has investigated a lot to prove Hughes' innocence, while in other cases he stayed neutral or was with the prosecutor. I don't know if it can ever be proved, but I'd wish we could all fulfill Prestons last wish: to prove his innocence. Or maybe we see facts that made us think otherwise and know we've been fooled. But for now this just leaves more than a bitter taste.
I hope your ignorant.ass burn in hell. Please do not ever visit Texas and get caught in the justice system and try to say you are innocent. I would personally help but a rope around Your stupid neck...
@ Anonymous 4.18 AM. What a civilised and sensible comment (sarcasm intended). Advocating violence against those who disagree with you - a bit like those killers who you condemn, no? You have nothing of value, intelligence or substance to add to this discussion.
I have read the court documents,and can see why the supreme court of the US denies;there interested in the law and facts,not hype,even Ellis McCullough, one of Hughes' trial lawyers, said he was convinced no evidence was planted or mishandled,and mcann himself wasnt convinced of hughes innocence. Like with troy davis,there is much manufactured doubt from the anti death penalty advocates who turn these offenders into poster boys for their own adgendas,I believe to delay these executions for so long is cruel,and bordering on torture. You really need to sort it out...get on with it within a year or two, or abolish it, but i bet you here and now,like troy davis,you will never prove Hughes innocent.Rob b. England.
>>>Advocating violence against those who disagree with you - a bit like those killers who you condemn, no? Read more carefully. He's one of yours. Lol Abolitionists are known for making death threats.
Mr. Bennett, you did extraordinary work with this case. The legal system is rigged and your chances of success were very slim. However, you brought light to a case that few would have noticed. This case will continue to haunt the Texas Judicial System for decades. I hope you continue your work.
TSJ - kudos to you for daring to expose the wrongs of our criminal justice system and the death penalty. Your work is not ever in vain.
What a shame to read the ignorant anonymous comments here. If you just skim the top of the story, it is easy to agree with the State of Texas, but when you really analyze this case as John Allen did, it becomes clear that Preston was not guilty. I thank him for all his hard work and for sharing it with those of us who were willing to listen. Too much hatred in this world, but Preston is finally free from it.
If you have never been caught up in the judicial system in the U.S., then you still believe in it and that justice does prevail. That's ok - you just keep on living in your dream world and pray that you never have to experience it yourself! If, however, like my children and others that I know, you have seen firsthand the way this system is broken (just like our federal government), then you know that the claims Preston Hughes had about being set up by the police and being coerced during the interrogation have more than a ring of truth to them. (and, if you have the reading skills to review the entire trial transcripts, police reports, etc. you will see the inconsistencies that are abundant). However, besides God, the only people that really know for sure whether he was innocent or not are now no longer alive. Texas had the chance to silence the "hype" (as some people have put it) by doing the right thing through a simple DNA test, but they repeatedly chose to cling to archaic and non-sensible laws. dgr
Proud of Texas today for not falling for the hype
Over the past several years the Innocence Commission has proven that over 300 people have been wrongfully convicted of crimes and they spent many years in prison. Think about it. They were innocent all along. What if they had all been executed? Studies indicate that there are many, many more innocent people in prison. Whether you support the death penalty or not, until we can get it right, as a society we should not be taking the chance when there is any possibility that a person may be innocent.Those of us who study wrongful conviction cases have seen first hand how it happens - from coerced witnesses to planted evidence to manufactured evidence and perjury. It is horrible for the wrongfully accused and their families and many never get any relief.tsj - I admire you for everything you have done to try to help these people. If more would, maybe we wouldn't be seeing this happening again and again. RIP Preston Hughes III
Let's just ignore the damn trolls. Most of them don't even have the guts to use their real name. Just a bunch of flies attracted to the stench of sh*t.TSJ I sure hope you don't feel that you failed Preston Hughes because you didn't. Texas failed him and justice failed him. You did all you could.
All you anti death penalty advocates just can't stand it when someone disagrees with you. You also cannot stand the facts that you are wrong. Hughes was GUILTY.
I removed a response to the previous comment because it was a bit over the edge. I ask the commentor to resubmit it in a somewhat more moderate form.Emotions are elevated right now, as I think they should be. I still welcome all comments but I insist they be civil.I've deleted, without notice or comment, around 5 comments so far. None have been deleted because of point-of-view. Each was deleted because of the manner in which the commentor chose to make his or her point.
Silence and tears. Michael TONEY's mom
Seems like they did him a favor in that he's been on death row instead of in the GP as a serial sex offender.
Are you seriously telling me that you think that the most advanced country in the world,and the state of texas has manufactured,manipulated ,co-erced,planted evidence,then strapped an innocent man down and executed him?! and that all those legal minds,inc the great supreme court of the US have it wrong...? Ive read everything tsj has written on the case,and like the Hank skinner case,its all Hype,as time goes by,you get taken into an endless network of holes and pure conjecture,this is what creates the doubt in peoples minds,and this is what america needs to sort out.
Rob, yup, that's what I am saying. Seriously.
There is one exoneration to every ten executions. That just about says enough. Those exonerations usually happen to men lucky enough to stumble upon a decent lawyer.
I know that here in England theres been casses where the police have "framed the guilty",but once you reach that point,it becomes so difficuilt to see the wood for the trees,you can then never clearly see innocence or guilt,there"s just question marks everywhere. I do follow your death penalty casses,and know that texas appears to be a law unto themselves,ie no one "messes with texas"
The guy was a SVP who murdered a 15 and a 3 year old. The conspiracy theories being spun here are ridiculous.
Are you serious? Have you read all the documents on this site? The documents that were hid, corrupted, and twisted by the cops?You're having a go at US for questioning 'Texas law' you got to be f&^$I*& kidding me...this is Texas, the state that's created a petition to become independant because they're pissed that Obama won again.
Of course, I'm serious. And as on cue, you go off on some conspiratorial screeching rant.
I thought you might of caught the hint and researched the details of this case.There are plenty of other sites for you to discuss the details of this case with and plenty of parties like yourself who will agree with you. If you're not even prepared to enlighten yourself with the information here, then there is no place for you.....
Too much bickering and insufficient reasoned argument. Make a point based on evidence or please content yourself with reading and commenting elsewhere.
Indeed,Anti death penalty advocates like TSJ and others will always be able to create twisty little rabbit holes for the unsuspecting to follow,and indeed you too will be convinced that Hughes was innocent. TSJ also thinks that texas"s Hank skinner is innocent,but if you read the latest DNA Advisory to the courts,it implicates skinner much further in the murders,and disproves a number of points skinner was making (even Rob Owen,skinners attorney, must be nervous now)but no doubt,polished individuals will try to create another twisty little hole to follow,but im sure the supreme court will see throught the hype,and justice will be done,as with hughes and T davis.
It would be comforting to categorically believe the state and the criminal justice system in today's age, would never execute an innocent man but alas, in the end they are composed of people like you and me that make mistakes.Consider the lack of physical evidence in this case, look at studies that clearly demonstrate how common it is for innocent men and woman to confess to acts they didn't commit, and finally, consider even the prosecutor admits to the jury the scientific evidence was slim in this case. Add on top of this new evidence which casts doubt on the victim's ability to speak Preston's name, and the likely hood the knife presented as the murder weapon doesn't match the wounds and we should get to at least some degree of doubt.Al Fontova
There was no new evidence. Plus, where are the EMT records showing that she was dead at the scene? They started IVs in both her arms. You can't do that when the veins have collapsed due to death. One of the EMTs said he heard her speak, too. I guess the EMTs were part of the big conspiracy, too. LOL
Al, the normal person doesn't make mistakes like killing or raping young women and kids. Hughes got what he deserved.
The paramedics didn't testify, as did no medical personel from the two hospitals involved, we don't know what they encountered why they may have started an IV or have corrobation under oath that she spoke to someone else that night besides the officer as was claimed in the police report. We do know the nature of Shandra's wounds, how unlikely it was that she able to speak and that the the profile of the wounds do not match the knife produced in court and presented as the murder weapon, the lack of physical evidence.This is my last post, here, time to let this go.Al Fontova
We know why they start IVs in critically injured people, Al. And I know that you cant' start an IV in a person whose veins are collapsed due to lack of blood pressure.
Anon,This is ridiculous. Even the HPD said she was unconscious. Officers Cook and Becker were the first on the scene, and they said in their police report that she was unconscious. That was before Hamilton arrived.The State conveniently kept that information from the jury, and Hughes' defense let them do it. But I've made it available here and to the court time after time. The State didn't care; his defense attorney didn't care; the courts didn't care; you don't care.Everyone who wants to delude themselves that the police never lie and that we never execute an innocent person willfully ignores that disturbing portion of the police report and all the other disturbing pieces of evidence that she could not have given a dying declaration.Instead, death penalty gloaters simply state by fiat their faith in a government that they typically distrust in all other matters. Their investigation, assuming any at all beyond name-calling, extends no further than finding a talking point that leaves them comfortable that all is well with our justice system.The gloaters flatter themselves further by labeling everyone who disagrees with them asaddle-brained bleeding hearts.Enough is enough.
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