News 09.15.10

Texas Panel Releases Troubling Report Ahead of Friday Meeting

With a key meeting set for Friday on the Texas arson conviction of Cameron Todd Willingham, the state’s Forensic Science Commission has circulated a troubling draft report finding that state fire investigators did not commit professional negligence or misconduct. Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck issued responded to the draft report today, saying the report ducks critical issues in the case.

Willingham was convicted in 1992 of setting a fire that killed his three daughters. He was executed in 2004, days after Texas officials received reports finding that he was convicted based on faulty science. The Texas Forensic Science Commission is conducting a review of the forensic science used to convict Willingham, and was set to discuss the case at its meeting on Friday. Now, in advance of the Friday meeting in Dallas, the commission has issued a draft report finding that there was no negligence in Willingham’s conviction.

Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck issued a statement today responding to the report:

“The Commission draft report, seemingly written by Chairman Bradley, is troubling because it ducks the important issues raised in our allegation to the Commission,” Scheck said. “…The shortcomings in this report reflect the secretive and reluctant manner with which Mr. Bradley has led this Commission since he shut down the Commission’s original, thorough, and public process for handling this investigation.”

Read Scheck’s full statement here


Read today’s Innocence Project media advisory on the Friday TFSC meeting


Find key documents and media coverage on our Willingham resource page


The TFSC meeting will be available for viewing via live streaming video on

Friday at 9:30 CST here


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