I would like to think that sending a man to die would warrant more than 10 minutes of review by the Governor. But not in Texas.
The Houston Chronicle adds some more details about how Perry disregarded doubts of Willingham's guilt. Three days before the execution, Willingham's attorney alerted Perry of a new arson analysis that cast doubt on the conviction. The ultimate analysis came from a respected arson expert, Dr. Gerald Hurst, who helped exonerate prior death row inmates.
According to the Chronicle, the five-page Hurst report was faxed to Perry at 4:52 PM. A "few minutes after" 5:00, Perry's office said he would not intervene. They probably didn't even read it. The execution occurred about an hour later.
Perry and the Texas criminal justice system are so enamored of killing people that missing dinner is apparently a greater risk than executing an innocent man.
[UPDATE 11:15: The Tribune adds more:
Just months before the controversial removal of three members of a state commission investigating the forensics that led to a Texas man's 2004 execution, top aides to Gov. Rick Perry tried to pressure the chairman of the panel over the direction of the inquiry, the chairman has told the Tribune.
More on this article later.]