Texas Executed Wrong Man, Report Claims
At 24, Wanda Lopez was savvy to the pitfalls of her crime-infested Corpus Christi neighborhood. A divorced high school dropout with a child to support, she knew well the perils of her solo night job at a nearby gas station. When a customer warned that a man with a knife lurked outside the store, she immediately telephoned police.
What happened next that February night in 1983 - a robbery, frenzied struggle and fatal stabbing - continues to resonate with questions about how well police, prosecutors and defense lawyers performed their jobs.
On Tuesday, the Columbia Human Rights Law Review will devote its spring issue to a 400-page article asserting that the state convicted the wrong man, bypassing a potential suspect who had bragged of killing Lopez.
The critique is the latest in which death penalty opponents seek to prove that Texas, with 482 executions since 1982, killed an innocent man.