The State of Texas murdered Preston Hughes last night.
Maybe he was innocent. Maybe he was not.
The injuries the victim suffered are not consistent with the testimony of the police officer who found her. Did he make up the last words of a dying girl?
We don't know. We'll never know.
The jury thought he did it. But jurors find it hard to believe that police officers lie.
The problem for Mr. Hughes was that the jury found him guilty. That meant he had to present evidence of actual innocence - and that's a world apart from demonstrating reasonable doubt.
His attorney, Pat McCann, did everything he could to keep Mr. Hughes alive. He filed a clemency request with the Board of Pardons and Parole. He tried to file a civil suit challenging the one-drug cocktail. Mr. Hughes didn't think he did enough.
What Mr. Hughes and his supporters couldn't grasp is that the game changes once that jury comes back with a guilty verdict.
Now he's dead. And still nothing has changed.
The victims are still dead. Friends and family still have a void in their lives. The killing of Preston Hughes didn't change that.
And now there's no reason to continue to determine whether or not he was innocent. Maybe the State of Texas killed an innocent man. And maybe not.
Does it really even matter?