Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Most Innocent Man on Death Row: Introduction

Yesterday, I announced that I would not be posting for an indefinite period of time. Today I learned that Texas has issued a death warrant for Larry Ray Swearingen. He is now scheduled to be executed on 27 February 2013. That piece of information is apparently sufficient to shake me out of my blogging lassitude. I now feel compelled to write of the case for two reasons.

Reason First: I consider Larry Ray Swearingen to be the most innocent man on death row. I understand that under my definition of actual innocence, there can be no gradations: Either the person is 100% innocent or the person does not fit my definition of actual innocence. By describing Swearingen as The Most Innocent Man on Death Row, I'm saying that I know of no other case in which the person to be executed is so clearly innocent. If Texas executes Larry Swearingen, as they are intent to do, then I claim that it will be the most obviously wrongful, and most obviously shameful, execution in the so called "modern" era.

Reason Second: I believe I may have inadvertently identified the actual murderer.

Given those two circumstances, I am compelled to write, and write with urgency. I have written of his case  twice already: once in this blog and a second time for my unpublished book America's Executioner. I consider my second effort the better of the two, so I will use it to form a good portion of this series of unknown length.

I'll also preface the series by noting that Larry Swearingen, unlike Preston Hughes, is well represented. His attorney is the sincere, dedicated, and capable James Rytting of Hilder and Associates in Houston. Because of the professionalism of James Rytting and others, Larry Swearingen has already survived three execution dates. He has done so because his defense team has brought forth distinguished scientists who insist that it is medically impossible for him to have murdered the victim. The scientists have established to a medical certainty that the victim died no more than a week before her body was discovered in the Sam Houston National Forest. Since Swearingen had by that time been in jail for three weeks, he cannot possibly be guilty of her murder.

I'll first describe his case and the reasons his execution has been stayed already three times. I'll then identify the person I believe may have murdered Melissa Trotter. Whether or not I am correct about the alternate suspect, Larry Ray Swearingen is currently The Most Innocent Man on Death Row.


Anonymous said...

I have read about this case somewhat over the past few weeks and the latest I heard was that it was in the US Supreme Courts where that honourable paragon of virtue, Justice Antonin Scalia pronounced that it was not unconstitutional to execute a factually innocent person who had received a fair trial and had completed the appeals process: HOW APPALLING! I will be looking at this blog regarding his case over the weekend however I am not sure what the status of his appeal in the US Supreme Court is at the moment - is it still in progress?


Anonymous said...

Apologies for my ignorance - I am now aware that the case is concluded, having looked at this post again. Maria.

Anonymous said...

I would have sentenced him to death also.

Anonymous said...

If Swearingen was factually innocent, and he is not, he wouldn't have played all these games with dna testing. He only asked for dna testing close to execution dates in attempts to derail the execution. This last time instead of opposing it, the DA agreed and also agreed to the lab and expert and items the defense had chosen. What was the defense response? They objected to dna testing and the execution was delayed again. So, then the defense proceeded on their Chap 64 hearing. But the defense is not entitled to dna testing under chap 64. So, they are shit out of luck. The TCCA denied their motion and no higher court will over turn their decision. Swearingen is guilty and he will be execution hopefully sometime this year.

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