What is Wrong with Our System

Turkey isn’t the only place with five dumb Supreme Court justices. The Alabama Supreme Court narrowly decided to delay the execution of Thomas Arthur. This after another man confessed to the crime he was going to be put to death for.

Mr. Arthur, 66, was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Thursday at the state prison in Atmore, Ala., for the murder of his lover’s husband in 1982. He was paid $10,000 for killing the husband, Troy Wicker, 35, according to testimony from the woman who said she had hired him, Judy Wicker.

On Monday, a convicted murderer serving a life sentence in Alabama stepped forward with a handwritten affidavit claiming that he, and not Mr. Arthur, was responsible for the murder. The convict, Bobby Ray Gilbert, said in the affidavit that he shot Mr. Wicker in the face at the behest of Ms. Wicker, whom he said he had met in a nightclub.

More than that, the DNA evidence that could put this question to rest is apparently missing.

Mr. Arthur’s lawyers said in legal filings that the state now acknowledges it cannot find what the lawyers say could be a critical piece of evidence if subjected to DNA testing — a rape test performed on Ms. Wicker.

Mr. Gilbert, in his affidavit, said that he had intercourse with her on the day of the murder.

The Alabama attorney general’s office earlier had dismissed the new affidavit as “wholly without credibility,” pointing to Mr. Gilbert’s multiple convictions, and Ms. Wicker herself cast doubt on its veracity.

Now, Arthur could well be guilty. He was convicted by three seperate juries and the woman who supposedly hired him said she paid him. However, it’s simply remarkable to me that the Attorney General of Alabama would want to go through with the execution after another person voluntarily confessed to it. It is even more mindboggling that the Alabama Supreme Court has five members who would have allowed Arthur to be executed this week.

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