The case of Carlos DeLuna is getting new attention. He was an innocent person executed by the State of Texas. The Columbia University Law Review has created an extraordinary website detailing the case. Be sure to visit their website.
Back in 2006, Texas Moratorium Network’s Scott Cobb wrote the section on capital punishment in the Texas Democratic Party platform and included Carlos DeLuna as an example of an innocent person executed to show why Texas needs a moratorium on executions.
On the day, sooner than you think, when the United States Supreme Court again outlaws the death penalty, the justices will almost certainly cited the DeLuna case as one of the prime reasons why. It is not the first recent instance where smart, reasonable people have compellingly proven that an innocent man was executed in Texas. And it’s certainly not the first time we’ve read the details of a capital case where the work of government officials — police, prosecutors, judges — was so profoundly and consistently shoddy.
But there is something especially compelling about the DeLuna case. It’s what drew Possley to it. It’s what haunted the lone eyewitness for all these years. A legendary case of injustice deserved — it needed — a legendary treatment. And it got one. No one can ever say again with a straight face that America doesn’t execute innocent men. No one. Barry Scheck told me Friday: “If Carlos DeLuna were still alive, [the Article] would form the basis of a habeas petition that would have exonerated him.”