Join 3,559 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Death and Doubt
November 24, 2005 9:43 AM   Subscribe

"I have been framed in a capital murder case." Ruben Cantu was executed in Texas in 1993 after being convicted of a 1984 San Antonio murder. A Houston Chronicle investigation suggests he was innocent. His co-defendant and the only eyewitness now say he was innocent and the judge, prosecutor, head juror and defense attorney acknowlege the case was built on omissions and lies. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha (30 comments total)

 
Cantu claimed he was out of town visiting his sister and stealing pickup trucks when the crime occured. His sister testified in his behalf but the jury didn't believe her. Cantu's attorney was never able to find any of the three men he says was with him, but the Chronicle found one of them, who corroborated Cantu's story.

After the murder, Cantu shot a police officer who "had a dozen previous misconduct complaints and had been disciplined for drinking and violent behavior" during an altercation in a bar, and the shooting was a key factor during the penalty phase of the trial.

There was no physical evidence connecting Cantu to the crime.

The San Antonio District Attorney is reviewing the case.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:43 AM on November 24, 2005


If you're going to make an omlette, you've got to break a few eggs.

*ducks*
posted by mullingitover at 9:51 AM on November 24, 2005


Won't somebody think of the victim's family? They never would have been able to sleep again if he just would have been locked into a cozy prison and cuddled.
posted by uncle harold at 10:01 AM on November 24, 2005


cuddled?
posted by Balisong at 10:05 AM on November 24, 2005


Except whever did it is prolly still out there. Real fuckin'cuddly, huh, unc?
posted by notsnot at 10:06 AM on November 24, 2005


Sad. Americans love blood.
posted by bardic at 10:09 AM on November 24, 2005


I hope uncle harold meant coddled. But then, maybe not.
posted by tweak at 10:13 AM on November 24, 2005


David Garza, the co-defendant, identified another person as the kiiller. The Chronicle interviewed him, but he says he can't remember what he was doing on the day of the murder.

Garza and Juan Moreno, the eyewitness, never came forward while Cantu was on death row, and none of Cantu's defense attorneys ever called them to testify during appeals. Garza didn't speak out due to having made a vow silence, and Moreno felt that the police pressured him to identify Cantu and was probably afraid.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:14 AM on November 24, 2005


"Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill, KILL, KILL."

you know this is the perfect Thanksgiving tie-in
posted by edgeways at 10:15 AM on November 24, 2005


Balisong, notsnot, tweak:

I was referring to pro-death penalty folk who characterize anything less than killing the perpetrator as wimpy and soft.

Forgot the sarcasm tag, sue me :)
posted by uncle harold at 10:25 AM on November 24, 2005


Take the judge, the prosecutor and the jurors who condemned him to death and execute them all. After all those who condemend to death feel sure enough to be submitted to death if some error arises.
posted by elpapacito at 10:30 AM on November 24, 2005


Well as long as someone died for the crime it all worked out in the end.

Oh wait, that makes no sense.
posted by chunking express at 10:34 AM on November 24, 2005


Justice is messy.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:51 AM on November 24, 2005


And so is this, w-gp...'cause this certainly ain't justice.
posted by Vidiot at 11:12 AM on November 24, 2005


Texas is not America.
posted by stbalbach at 11:23 AM on November 24, 2005


Police and prosecutors have one job: get a conviction. Doesn't matter much to them if it's the right guy or not.
posted by rocket88 at 11:37 AM on November 24, 2005


uncle harold, You should really have embedded a small picture of goatse after you typed cuddled. :)
posted by jeffburdges at 1:24 PM on November 24, 2005


"Texas is not America."

You wish. Hell, I wish. But it is. And it is also in the sense that the rest of the US isn't that much different.

Anyway, almost nothing makes me more angry that Bush's assertion that Texas has never executed an innocent person. That tells you everything you need to know about how he understands the world. And why he's so dangerous.

And "victims's rights" is an insult to our notion of law and justice in the US.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:58 PM on November 24, 2005


fantastic post.
posted by Kwantsar at 3:25 PM on November 24, 2005


Take the judge, the prosecutor and the jurors who condemned him to death and execute them all. After all those who condemend to death feel sure enough to be submitted to death if some error arises
elpapacito

What? That makes no sense.
posted by Sangermaine at 3:40 PM on November 24, 2005


Sure it does, Sangermaine. Just insert a comma after "after all" and insert "should" between "death" and "feel."

elpapacito is a lefty economist (and nonnative English speaker) who understands that incentives matter. That's why he's a treasure to MeFi.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:10 PM on November 24, 2005


It is better to kill a dozen innocent people than to let one innocent man go free.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 9:46 PM on November 24, 2005


"It is better to kill a dozen innocent people than to let one innocent man go free."

That's such an accurate description of the conservative mentality. (Not all, of course.) That being the case, it's odd that they are so upset about Waco.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:06 PM on November 24, 2005


"Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill, KILL, KILL."

you know this is the perfect Thanksgiving tie-in


How does that song go?

Heifer whines could be human cries
Closer comes the screaming knife
This beautiful creature must die
This beautiful creature must die
A death for no reason
And death for no reason is murder

posted by 235w103 at 11:42 PM on November 24, 2005


Sad. This is why civilised countries don't have the death penalty.
posted by jack_mo at 4:18 AM on November 25, 2005


There are many arguments against the death penalty, but this one alone is enough argument for me.
posted by orange swan at 5:37 AM on November 25, 2005


Take the judge, the prosecutor and the jurors who condemned him to death and execute them all. After all those who condemend to death feel sure enough to be submitted to death if some error arises

Better yet how about the witnesses who lied.
posted by srboisvert at 7:48 AM on November 25, 2005


Time to hear from the pro life contingent.

Oh, never mind, that's only for zygotes, not real, viable persons.
posted by nofundy at 7:57 AM on November 25, 2005


Next week the 1,000th person will be executed in the United States since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. One person is executed in the United States every 10 days.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:36 PM on November 25, 2005


Take the judge, the prosecutor and the jurors who condemned him to death and execute them all. After all those who condemend to death feel sure enough to be submitted to death if some error arises

That's an interesting idea. I once asked a WWII paratrooper how secure he felt about having someone else pack his 'chute. He said the commanding officer would come by once a week or so, pull a 'chute at random out of the packer's bin, and make him jump it. Very few failures.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:30 PM on November 25, 2005


« Older The Web's First Shaggy Dog Story Archive...  |  Thanksgiving Dinner Buzzword B... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments