AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Gov. Rick Perry's office is refusing to release information about how it reviewed an attorney's attempt to stop an execution based on an arson expert's report. Perry's office is arguing that staff comments and analyses of the report aren't public records.
The Houston Chronicle reports today that it tried unsuccessfully to obtain documents that might show whether Perry reviewed or if his staff discussed the report. It was faxed to the governor just 88 minutes before Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in February 2004.
The newspaper reported that it was unclear from the records whether Perry had read the arson report that day.
A statement from Perry spokesman, Chris Cutrone, sent to the Chronicle late Friday, said that there was ample time for the general counsel to read and analyze the report and to brief the governor.