Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Lone Star Justice

Maurice Possley and Steve Mills of the Chicago Tribune continue their groundbreaking investigations into the death penalty with a three-part series that ended today. "Did One Man Die for Another's Crime?" looks at the 1983 murder of gas station clerk Wanda Lopez and concludes that the state of Texas may have killed the wrong man for the crime. Carlos De Luna was executed by lethal injection after being convicted of the murder even though another man, Carlos Hernandez, bragged about the killing. Mills and Possley use court transcripts and dozens of interviews with those connected with the crime and trial to cast significant doubt on the verdict.

For contrast, today's Tribune also boasts a sweet profile of James Culver, the last farmer in the Chicago area to work his fields using draft horses. "A Life's Labor Firmly Rooted in Soil" by Jason George is a nice look at a vanishing way of life. I like how George puts Culver's story in the greater context of the region's growth.


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