Thursday, December 09, 2004

Supreme Smackdown Too Late for Willingham

The next time someone asks you if Texas ever executed an innocent person, tell them about Cameron Todd Willingham, who died by lethal injection on February 17, 2004. The Chicago Tribune ran a great piece analyzing the case, and concluded that, in the end, the conviction rested upon disproven forensic science conclusions.

It's hard to prove a negative, and it's possible the arson investigator cited by the Tribune is wrong and the fire that killed Willingham's children
was set intentionally. What we do know, though, is that Texas' criminal justice system, especially Governor Rick Perry and Texas' worst court, didn't care whether Willingham was innocent or not.

I'm glad the Supreme Court is starting to take charge of Texas' capital sentencing mess. It comes too late for Mr. Willingham, though.

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