Perry: Washington bad, Willingham prosecution good

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Gov. Rick Perry fired up a friendly crowd of real estate agents at a luncheon that sounded and felt like a campaign rally.

Perry, without mentioning Republican primary opponent Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, railed against federal spending and lack of federal border protection.

He told the luncheon crowd of the Texas Association of Realtors on Wednesday that Texas needs a leader with executive experience. But talking with reporters later, Perry returned to the now-disputed 2004 Texas execution of Cameron Todd Willingham.

Perry said numerous courts found Willingham guilty and appealed to reporters not to be misled by what he called anti-death penalty "propaganda."

An expert's report has suggested arson may not have occurred in the case. Arson was the cornerstone of the Willingham prosecution.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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