In a troubling move, Texas Gov. Rick Perry yesterday replaced three members of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, which was set to hold a public hearing Friday to review a report on arson evidence in the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham. As a result of the changes, Friday’s hearing has been cancelled.
Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck said: “On Friday, the Commission was supposed to consider the expert’s report, which strongly indicates that the arson evidence underlying Willingham’s conviction and execution was completely unreliable and would raise serious concerns that Texas has executed this innocent person. Rather than let this important hearing go forward and the report be heard, the Governor fires the independent Chairman and two other members of this Commission. It’s like Nixon firing Archibald Cox to avoid turning over the Watergate tapes.”