4/04/2005

Tulia, TX Case and "terrorism is good" Senator John Cornyn

Tulia, TX Case

one of the great miscarriages of justice in the country the roundup and prosecution of dozens of black men and women on specious drug trafficking charges in the Texas Panhandle town of Tulia.

There is no reason to believe that any of the people arrested in the humiliating roundup on July 23, 1999, were guilty of trafficking. No drugs, money or weapons were found. Several defendants have already been proved innocent. All were arrested solely on the word of a clownish undercover cop named Tom Coleman who had a penchant for making up charges, throwing his 'evidence' into the garbage, scrawling important investigative information on his arms and legs, changing his testimony from trial to trial, making false statements while under oath, referring to black people as 'niggers,' and stumbling into legal trouble himself.

On the uncorroborated, unsubstantiated testimony of this officer, defendants arrested in Tulia on that shameful summer day were convicted and given prison sentences of 20 years, 60 years, 90 years and more. When the first astonishingly harsh sentences were handed down, the remaining defendants quickly began agreeing to plead guilty in return for more lenient punishment. Thirteen defendants remain in prison, serving sentences of up to 99 years.

In the bleak and twisted world of criminal justice in Texas, this case was considered cause for celebration. Mr. Coleman was hailed as a hero and given the state's 'Lawman of the Year' award."

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