LONE STAR, TEX ASS - "We had good reason to execute Carlos DeLuna," Warden Hank Williams said. "He was the spitting image of the killer, he had the same first name, and was near the scene of the crime at the fateful hour. Besides, he deserved to die."
"Not even the scumbag's relatives could tell him apart from the actual killer, Carlos What's-His-Name. Hispanics all look alike to me," the warden added, without even the slightest hint of irony.
Professional troublemaker Professor James Liebman disagreed. "There were a plethora of signs that indicated that DeLuna was the wrong man. He was executed for no other reason than the prison officials' incompetence."
The man who was the actual killer, Carlos Hernandez, may have deserved to be executed, Liebman acknowledged. "He sliced and diced a single mother named Wanda Lopez at the gas station where she worked to support her fifteen children and lay-about husband, Juan."
"They sure did look alike, though," Sheriff Bert Hammill said. "The only difference is that the actual culprit was wearing a gray shirt and had a mustache; otherwise, they could have been twins. Besides, they all look alike to me."
Arresting the wrong man isn't "really all that big a deal, anyway," the lawman said. "It happens all the time."
A year ago from his prison cell the real killer, Carlos Hernandez, contended, "The other Carlos died, because of faulty eyewitness testimony, shoddy legal representation, and prosecutorial misconduct."
He said he learned these legal terms while working in the prison library's legal section and conferring with "jailhouse lawyers."
He was pleased, he said, "to use all of them in a sentence-hopefully, correctly."
It seems that God, perhaps dismayed by Tex Ass' judicial proceedings, intervened directly to execute divine justice: Hernandez died a few months after his confession, succumbing to cirrhosis of the liver.
"He was a heavy drinker and a heavy smoker," Warden Williams eulogized Hernandez. "If the smoking or the drinking hadn't killed him, he would eventually have died by lethal injection, because, sooner or later, he would have been mistaken for some other death row inmate. They all look alike to me."