Did Texas execute another innocent man?

A new investigative report by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review is providing the best evidence yet for what many have long suspected, that Carlos Deluna, executed by the State of Texas in 1989, did not kill gas station attendant Wanda Lopez in 1983. Deluna denied the killing until the moment of his execution. For years he told police and that another man, Carlos Hernandez, had committed the crime. (Hernandez was well known to police; after his death he bragged about getting away with Lopez’s murder, according to relatives.)

You can read a good summary of the Law Review argument, as well as an interview with the original prosecutor— who defends his work—in the Houston Chronicle. The journal itself has published a massive online archive of interviews, sources and documents related to the investigation on its website. (You can also read the entire 400-page investigation there.) The Chicago Tribune did a three-part investigation of the same crime in 2006, which you can read here. David Grann, arguably the best magazine writer in the world, wrote an award-winning piece on another disputed Texas execution in 2009. Read it here.


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