Why Gov. Perry shook up the Texas Forensic Science Commission

Gov. Perry's replacement of the Forensics Science Commission (FSC) members hurt him politically. He knew it would, yet he did it anyway. Why?
 
The ridiculous speculation, that such was part of a cover-up to hide the evidence of an innocent executed, Cameron Todd Willingham, was humorous.
 
Perry's actions, brought more light, more suspicion and more outrage to a case that was, already, fully exposed.
 
Politicians don't, usually, make decisions like this, intentionally inflicting harm to themselves, particularly in such a closely contested battle, as Perry has with Sen. Hutchison. Yes, politicians and their advisors can be unbelievably stupid, but bear with me.
 
Perry's silly explanation that "it was standard policy" to replace those members, rightly, fell on disbelieving ears. Yes, their terms had expired, 9/1, but the timing of the removals, 9/31, two days before the formal FSC hearing on this case, was explosive, just as Perry knew it would be.
 
Perry's response to gubernatorial political opponent Sen. Hutchison's criticism was telling "She doesn't have all the facts."
 
Perry publicly admitted that the reasons for replacing the members was not business as usual. He contradicted himself. Few noticed.
 
First, the charge, true or false, that Perry is covering up his malfeasance in an innocent person being executed, is not a charge that Perry can avoid and just hope it goes away. Citizens are outraged by political cover ups, even more so if it concerns an innocent citizen being killed.
 
For Perry's political enemies, as well as the media and anti death penalty folks (very often the same), there is blood in the water and they will not allow this to fade away - nor should they.
 
Secondly, in the midst of a battle for Perry's political life, the accusations are too damning and important not to be resolved, quickly and thoroughly.
 
Thirdly, let's presume the obvious, most politicians act with self interest, with reelection as a primary goal.
 
Enter Perry. He knew that his replacement of the 4 Commission members would be a huge pile of manure in his campaign and would remain a major negative throughout the campaign.  Therefore, he had to have known that there was a positive that was going to arise out of this short term disaster, a flower growing out of that manure, if you will. He wouldn't have replaced those 4 members, unless there was something to serve his self interest, that would, better sooner than later, BENEFIT his campaign.
 
NOTE: As one reporter speculated: "Dudley, you may be giving Perry's advisors too much high IQ credit." Point taken.
 
Here is my speculation as to why all of this happened.
 
(1) The brief and incomplete Corsicana Fire Department report (CFDR) to the Beyler report (BR), certainly, offers a clue. It blasted the BR on some obvious and important points, making over a hundred comments and corrections to Beyler's 19 page review of the Willingham case.
 
 It made a decent case that Beyler's report is both inaccurate and biased. (A)
 
The CFDR noted that it was very limited by time and other constraints. With the hearing delay, those time constraints have now been lifted. Likely, that will mean more criticism of the BR and a more thorough review of all the case evidence for the CFDR.
 
Even a curious layman could some real problems in the BR.  Any media folks interested in investigative journalism would have seen it as well. Apparently, none did. Hint. Read the incomplete CFDR, released Oct.3rd.
 
2) The evidence is that the pending Texas Fire Marshall's (TFM) report, which is another formal part of this review process, is, also, going to be critical of the BR.
 
We know that because the TFM's office has stated that they are standing by their deceased expert's, Vasquez's, report (A1).
 
The BR laid waste to Vasquez's report. Therefore, we already know what the TFM Report is going to do - lay waste to the BR.
 
I've seen none in the media mention this obvious fact.
 
3) Based upon the probability that Perry or his advisors either read or knew what was in either or both of the TFM and CFD reports, as well making their own critical review of Beyler's report, prior to 9/31, it becomes understandable why Perry replaced the Commission members.
 
Perry's, likely, assessment  was, "wait a minute, the Beyler report is so biased, so filled with inaccuracies, why didn't the committee members request a more balanced report, prior to the hearing? They would be fools, idiots or worse not to."
 
In addition, I don't think anyone can underestimate the effects of political paranoia, which run deep in such campaigns.
 
4) It appears likely that there may be factors regarding the TFSC that we are, currently, unaware of as, specifically, suggested by Perry's response to Hutchison. "She doesn't have all the facts."
 
If she doesn't have them, we don't either.
 
In such a circumstance, any Governor, concerned with a fair evaluation of the government's business, might feel the need to make changes.
 
Yes, I might be wrong, but it certainly makes more sense than to cover up what can't be covered up, to sabotage your own campaign when you cannot afford to.
 
Depending upon their schedules, can't the 4 new commission members get up to speed within 4-8 weeks, meaning a new FSC hearing can, responsibly, be held in December or January?
 
Dudley Sharp
e-mail  sharpjfa@aol.com,  713-622-5491,
Houston, Texas
 
Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS , VOA and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author.
 
A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally.
 
(A) 1. EXCLUSIVE: City report on arson probe:
State panel asks for city response in Willingham case
http://www.corsicanadailysun.com/news/local_story_276222736.html
 
(A)2.  No Doubts
http://www.corsicanadailysun.com/thewillinghamfiles/local_story_250180658.html
 
------------------
 
The New Yorker
 
"Cameron Todd Willingham: Media Meltdown & the Death Penalty:
"Trial by Fire: Did Texas execute an innocent man?", by David Grann, New Yorker
 
 
As more reality comes to light, the more into disrepute run's Grann's article.
 
My article was written and released prior to the Corsicana Fire Marshall's report.
 
 

 

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