Thursday, March 4, 2010

Texas: Can the Governor Pardon an Innocent Person (That is Actually Living)?

While the Governor has demonstrated the ability to wield his significant clemency powers in the least relevant ways, the Dallas Morning News reports that he may very well be forced to employ them on the behalf of two LIVING persons! Chris Scott and Claude Simmons were released from prison almost five months ago and declared innocent by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals yesterday. The two men spent 12 long years in prison for a murder they did not commit.

But, recognizing the inertia against even the most obvious demand for clemency, an attorney for one of the men said the ruling was merely "a very big step." Can the governor muster up enough courage to grant a pardon to these guys? And hpw long will they have to wait? How much will the fact that they are living count against them? Will there be any electoral pay-off in giving the men what even the most cynical among us would concede they so richly deserve? See story here.

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