On April 21, 1993, the El Paso police picked up a seventeen-year-old boy named David Rangel and questioned him about a double murder that had occurred the night before. Detective Al Marquez and a second officer browbeat Rangel for hours, telling him—falsely—that others had already implicated him and that he would get life and be raped in prison if he didn’t cooperate.
When dealing with home-run records and financial opportunities, a reliable rule to follow is this: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. When dealing with child-sex-abuse allegations, a reliable rule too follow is this: if it sounds too bad to be true, be very, very skeptical.
Christopher Scott planned it all from an uncomfortable state prison bed at the Coffield unit in East Texas, where he would kick back, listen to R&B and daydream. Some day the criminal justice system would recognize that he was not, in fact, a murderer. He would be exonerated, and he would work to save other wrongfully convicted people. He would fulfill his lifelong dream to open a men’s clothing store. He would live in a sprawling home with a swimming pool and a basketball court.
As executions go, Michael Yowell’s was not destined to be particularly notable. Fifteen years earlier, in Lubbock, he had been convicted of shooting his father and strangling his mother while trying to steal drug money. He left a gas jet on, which set the house on fire, and his grandmother, who could not escape, died in the blaze.