News 10.15.09

Another Use of Arson Science, and More Twists in a Texas Case

The Cameron Todd Willingham case continued to make headlines this week, with comments from Gov. Rick Perry, a new statement from an arson expert and news about challenges to arson science made by the governor’s former general counsel.

Willingham was executed in 2004 for allegedly setting a fire that killed his three children. He proclaimed his innocence throughout the ordeal and several expert reviews have found that Willingham was convicted based on faulty arson science.

Read more background on the case here

.

Perry

spoke out about the case yesterday

, saying Willingham was a “monster” and a “bad man.” Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck responded by saying that the only way to move forward on the case is to empower the forensic science commission to continue its work: “The Texas Forensic Science Commission needs to finish the investigation that it started more than two years ago.”

Houston Chronicle columnist Lisa Falkenberg

asked

: “What’s [Perry’s] problem with a science commission that investigates science?”

The expert who prepared a report for the commission said Wednesday that Perry has

a conflict of interest

in the case because he approved Willingham’s execution, and that his conduct has been “unethical and injurious to the cause of justice."

And the blog DogCanyon reported yesterday that David Medina, Perry’s former general counsel,

was indicted in 2007 for allegedly burning his own home

, but was cleared when he challenged similar aspects of arson science in his defense.

More on the case this week from

NPR

and the

Dallas Morning News

.

Leave a reply

Thank you for visiting us. You can learn more about how we consider cases here. Please avoid sharing any personal information in the comments below and join us in making this a hate-speech free and safe space for everyone.

Thanks for your comment

Press "Enter" or click on the arrow to show results.

Search