One week from today, we will head to the Texas Capitol for the 10th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty. We hope to hear from all the candidates running for Texas governor this week at some point before the march next Saturday. We have heard a lot lately about what Rick Perry thinks, because he has been in the news covering up the execution of an innocent man – Todd Willingham.
Today, Kinky Friedman is quoted in The Daily Beast on his views of the death penalty. Friedman spoke with Marty Beckerman about why he’s running for Texas governor as a Democrat and the blood on Rick Perry’s hands.
His major campaign issue is ending the death penalty, which he criticizes Texas Gov. Rick Perry for wielding recklessly. “He fast-tracked the execution of this innocent guy, Cameron Todd Willingham,” Friedman says. “That’s blood on his Christian hands. There are plenty of innocent people in this corrupt justice system, but Rick is more concerned with protecting that system…
I would set up a commission to go case by case through death row and see what really happened, who is really innocent, a commission with real power to reprimand judges who have plenty of money and power. It’s a question of whether people want to free Jesus this time, or execute more innocent people like him.”
Friedman’s dream is to reverse Texas’s reputation as the state with the most executions and least literacy in the country.
“We are at the top of everything we should be at the bottom of, and at the bottom of everything we should be at the top of, as far as statistics go,” Friedman says. “Texas does have an independent spirit, which doesn’t always manifest itself in politics because politicians have hijacked the power … Good people don’t get into politics; it’s very rare.”