Others, like the prosecutor in the case, insist Willingham was guilty even if the forensics were flawed. See his column from the Corsicana Sun (and a rebuttal from Michael Landauer at the Dallas News' Death Penalty Blog). Judging by comments to Grits last post on the topic, at least some people could and will justify Willingham's execution even if he didn't commit the crime for which he was convicted because of past crimes and bad behavior.
Meanwhile, David Grann in the New Yorker's September 7 issue attempts to provide an antidote to this meme that other testimony would have convicted Willingham in a 16,000 word investigative piece paintakingly evaluating all the other evidence in his case, concluding that "Aside from the scientific evidence of arson, the case against Willingham did not stand up to scrutiny."
Adding its voice to the chorus of disapproval, the New York Times editorialized today that "it is outrageous that Texas is conducting its careful, highly skilled investigation after Mr. Willingham has been executed, rather than before."
People are going to be debating the details of this case for a long time.
- Press release from national Innocence Project on Cameron Todd Willingham
- Download the report commissioned by the Innocence Project and submitted to the Texas Forensic Science Commission. (PDF)
- Examples compiled by the Innocence Project of people sentenced to death but exonerated through DNA testing before they were executed.