News 01.21.10

Texas Forensics Panel to Reconvene, but Arson Case Isn’t on Agenda

The work of the Texas Forensic Science Commission was delayed last year when Gov. Rick Perry suddenly replaced several panel members days before a key meeting was to be held. The commission is now scheduled to meet again on January 29, but the controversial case of Cameron Todd Willingham is not on the agenda.

New commission chair John Bradley said he wants to focus first on commission procedures, but the Innocence Project and the former panel chairman said the group’s work has been delayed too long. Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck

told the Associated Press

that the January 29 agenda “deflects attention from what everybody wants answered” and former commission chairman Sam Bassett said the panel is “unnecessarily delaying the investigations we had going.”

The commission was scheduled to hear in October from an arson expert on evidence in the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 despite

strong evidence of his innocence

. Before the October meeting could be held, however, Gov. Perry replaced Basset and three other commission members. The group hasn’t met since then.

Visit the

Texas Forensic Science Commission

website to download the full agenda for the January 29 meeting in Harlingen, Texas.

We hope to broadcast the meeting live on the Internet, check the Innocence Blog next week for details.

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