On February 4, 1983, Wanda Lopez was stabbed to death in a Texas gas station. Corpus Christi police arrested Carlos Deluna for the crime. A jury convicted Deluna for the murder five months later and Deluna was executed for the crime in December 1989.
This week, nearly 30 years after Wanda Lopez’s death, a new investigation into Deluna’s conviction and execution poses serious questions about Deluna’s guilt, and challenges the fairness of our justice system. James Liebman, professor at Columbia Law School and author of the report, believes that police arrested the wrong Carlos — that Carlos Hernandez, an acquaintance of Deluna's with a long history of violence against women, committed the crime. Hernandez died in prison in 1999. The title of Liebman's report is "Los Tocayos Carlos," meaning "the namesake Carlos."
Liebman says investigations like Los Tocayos Carlos, along with the work of organizations like the Innocence Project, are changing Americans' opinions on the death penalty. He discusses Carlos Deluna's case and the broader judicial issues associated with the execution of an innocent man.