Figure 35: Portrait of Carlos DeLuna, with inscription Con Todo Respeto [With All Respect] By, Jesse S. De La Rosa, '85'." Texas executed De La Rosa on May 14, 1985.
* * * * *
Fourteen years later, listening to investigators describe what they had learned about Carlos Hernandez, Wanda Lopez's brother Richard Vargas took a moment to reconsider his hatred of Carlos DeLuna. Vargas's unforgiving conclusion was remarkably similar to Carlos DeLuna's moment of reflection about himself in his letter to Vicky.
"[I]t's a harsh way of putting it," Richard said, also stumbling over his words a little. But "[i]f you play with fire and you want to cover up for your friend and you want to look good and not get your friend in trouble and you know who did it and you take it, you take it to your death."205
* * * * *
In an act of desperation, Richard Anderson filed a new flurry of papers with Judge Head in late June and early July 1988 with names like "First Amended Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus" and "Motion to Attach Affidavits and Evidentiary Matters to Previously Filed Pleadings."206 Anderson's papers brazenly sought permission to do now, in July 1988, what the rules required him to have done in October 1986—investigate, organize the facts, and present them in court.
For the first time, Anderson submitted sworn statements from several of Carlos's friends and relatives saying that Lawrence and De Peña didn't contact them before DeLuna's trial, but if they had been contacted, they would have testified about Carlos's many acts of kindness and generosity.207 Anderson also came up with twenty-odd pages of reports on Carlos's arrests for sniffing paint in the late 1970s—behavior, Anderson claimed, that might have caused brain damage and mental illness, though he offered no doctor's opinion that it had done so.208
As Judge Head could see from Anderson's papers, everything he accused Lawrence and De Peña of doing was true of Anderson himself. The lawyer could have asked all the people who signed statements in July 1988 to do so months earlier and likewise could have retrieved DeLuna's criminal records before the final buzzer had sounded.
Transcribed Videotape Interview with Richard Louis Vargas, Brother of Wanda Lopez, in Corpus Christi, Texas (Dec. 4, 2004) at 07:16:17–07:16:24 ("Q. Do you think Carlos DeLuna was responsible for this crime? A. In that aspect, it's a harsh way of putting it but I'm not—I'm going to use that as an example for the future ones, the ones that do a crime like this. If you play with fire and you want to cover up for your friend and you want to look good and not get your friend in trouble and you know who did it and you take it, you take it to your death.").
Mot. to Attach Affs. and Evidentiary Matters to Previously Filed Pleadings, DeLuna v. McCotter, No. C–86–234 (S.D. Tex. July 12, 1988), at 2 & App. (unnumbered pages) ("Attached to this Motion are affidavits from witnesses necessary to support Petitioner's claim for ineffective assistance of counsel for failure to investigate and put on evidence in mitigation of punishment for this 21 year old Petitioner at the sentencing phase of his capital murder case.").
See Mot. to Attach Affs. and Evidentiary Matters to Previously Filed Pleadings, DeLuna v. McCotter, No. C–86–234 (S.D. Tex. July 12, 1988), at 3 & App. (unnumbered pages) (discussing and attaching records documenting DeLuna's "extensive background of substance abuse, including chemical inhalence [sic], which might have lessened Petitioner's responsibility for the homicide or mitigated against the death penalty").