There's a movement afoot to swamp Governor Perry with the demand that Hank Skinner get a reprieve so that the DNA tests can be done so that Texas won't just kill somebody without even bothering to find out if he's the wrong guy. Time's running short, so you should call. Now.
His office can be reached via the form here. Or by telephone at (512)463-1782. Or by fax at (512)463-1849. Or on twitter at @GovernorPerry.
Go ahead. I'll wait.
Done? OK. Good for you. You did the right thing.
Unfortunately, it was almost certainly a waste of time. See, you want to know.
You want to stop the killing of an innocent person, or at least to be sure that Hank Skinner isn't innocent, before going and killing him. You're reasonable and responsible. You're detached. The truth matters to you. You're offended at the possibility that we could be making a mistake just because.
Good for you. You should feel that way.
But Perry doesn't. Oh, I don't think he's so cold-blooded that if he honestly believed Hank was innocent he'd ignore it and let the killing go forward today. He's not a sociopath. I think, that is, he's better than he imagines Hank Skinner probably to be.
But he just can't see the point in double checking. I mean, the jury said he did it. Don't they all just lie about it? Isn't this just some pointy-headed liberals and do-gooders and outsiders and furriners and blawgers with nothing better to do than say that Texans don't give a shit about morality and decency.
Skinner beat a woman to death by god. Then he killed her kids. There was actual evidence. What more do you need to know? Get on with it. This is just games.
It's easy to believe that when you're an ostrich. Bennett called it confirmation bias yesterday. But that's not quite right. It's more like willful blindness.
Perry doesn't know and doesn't want to know and doesn't admit, even to himself, that there's a question. That's not confirmation blindness. He's not misreading the record to support what he believes. He's ignoring the record because it's easier never to know.
That's why Shrub had Gonzo give him sound bite versions of clemency requests. If you don't know that there's an issue, if you can force yourself to remain ignorant, you can act in complete comfort.
So do the right thing. But don't expect it from Perry.
Don't expect it from Governor Ted, either.
Darryl Durr is due to be murdered here in Ohio on April 20. There's DNA he'd like tested. Ohio's opposed. If this sounds familiar . . . .
Like I keep saying, Ohio wants to be Texas. Probably won't make it, but it won't be for lack of trying. Still, you should probably call Ted, too.
Riffe Center, 30th Floor
77 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43215-6108
Phone: (614) 466-3555
Fax: (614) 466-9354