Texas Death Penalty Injustice – Cameron Todd Willingham

Cameron Todd Willingham with family before the fire that killed his three children
Cameron Todd Willingham with family before the fire that killed his three children

Article from The Washington Post: “Fresh doubts over a Texas execution

“For more than 20 years, the prosecutor who convicted Cameron Todd Willingham of murdering his three young daughters has insisted that the authorities made no deals to secure the testimony of the jailhouse informer who told jurors that Willingham confessed the crime to him.

“Since Willingham was executed in 2004, officials have continued to defend the account of the informer, Johnny E. Webb, even as a series of scientific experts have discredited the forensic evidence that Willingham might have deliberately set the house fire in which his toddlers were killed.

“But now new evidence has revived questions about Willingham’s guilt: In taped interviews, Webb gives his first detailed account of how he lied on the witness stand in return for efforts by the former prosecutor, John H. Jackson, to reduce Webb’s prison sentence for robbery and to arrange thousands of dollars in support from a wealthy Corsicana rancher.”

Based on the fact of the house fire and the testimony of a jailhouse snitch named Johnny E. Webb, a Navarro County jury convicted Cameron Todd Willingham of first degree murder on Feb. 13, 1992. That snitch now says, Willingham “never told me nothing.” He Never Told Me Nothing. The State of Texas executed Cameron Todd Willingham in 2004.

Read more about this case of gross injustice from The Innocence Project Texas case of Cameron Todd Willingham http://ow.ly/zUzCg

“Thirteen years later, in the days leading up to Willingham’s execution, his attorneys sent the governor and the Board of Pardon and Parole a report from Gerald Hurst, a nationally recognized arson expert, saying that Willingham’s conviction was based on erroneous forensic analysis. Documents obtained by the Innocence Project show that state officials received that report but apparently did not act on it. Willingham was executed by lethal injection in Huntsville on February 17, 2004.”

Pictured below is Cameron Todd Willingham with his family before the fire.

Texas State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa
Texas State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa

Texas State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (pictured left) wrote the original bill that established the Forensic Science Commission in 2005, the year after Willingham’s execution.

“[The Commission] will be able to identify junk science, which we’re trying to eliminate so that any forensic analysis is based on research and scientific facts,” Hinojosa said. “It’s incredibly important that the public have faith and confidence in the criminal justice system and that we don’t end up wrongfully convicting innocent people.”

Learn about the Jailhouse Snitch System and how it led to the death of an innocent Texan. http://www.capitalpunishmentbook.com/?p=134

innocence project texas

There have been 317 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States.

• The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Exonerations have been won in 38 states; since 2000, there have been 250 exonerations.

• 18 of the 317 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row. Another 16 were charged with capital crimes but not sentenced to death.

• The average length of time served by exonerees is 13.5 years. The total number of years served is approximately 4,249.

• The average age of exonerees at the time of their wrongful convictions was 27.

Source: http://ow.ly/zUBve

John White
4 August 2014

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