Must-Read Investigation: TX Likely Executed Innocent Man
The haunting question of whether Texas has executed an innocent person is addressed in a must-read investigative article and website released today. New evidence uncovered in the multi-year investigation by a team from Columbia Law School strongly suggests that Carlos DeLuna, executed in Texas in 1989, was innocent.
The book-length monograph, Los Tocayos Carlos, is also available online at a comprehensive website, where readers can examine all the evidence themselves. Visit the website at: http://thewrongcarlos.net.
In 1983, Wanda Lopez was a single mother working at a gas station in Corpus Christi when she was tragically stabbed to death. The Hispanic assailant was seen by one eyewitness as he fled. After a 40-minute manhunt, police arrested DeLuna – but police recordings, suppressed at the time of trial and now available on the website, reveal that police first chased another man who did not match DeLuna’s description for 30 minutes.
DeLuna never wavered in his insistence on his innocence - or his claim that the crime was committed by an acquaintance named Carlos Hernandez. Hernandez had a long history of violent attacks against women. He bragged that he had killed Wanda Lopez and that DeLuna had taken the fall. The two men looked so much alike that even friends and family couldn’t easily tell their photos apart. However, DeLuna was sentenced to die after a conviction secured by a single, nighttime eyewitness identification and no corroborating forensic evidence.
Los Tocayos Carlos painstakingly documents all of the evidence about the flawed investigation that led to DeLuna's conviction and ultimate execution, including crime scene photographs, police audiotapes, video interviews, and numerous other materials.
It’s a haunting must-read for anyone interested in the criminal justice system.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.