News 10.30.09

Willingham’s Stepmom: It’s Time for Truth

An op-ed in today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram from the stepmother of Cameron Todd Willingham calls for the state to continue seeking answers in the case of her stepson, who was executed in Texas in 2004 despite evidence of his innocence. For more on Willingham’s case, visit our

Willingham Resource Center

.

Another article in the Houston Chronicle today by Innocence Project Co-Director Barry Scheck and Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis urges the Texas Forensic Science Commission to continue its work of investigating allegations of forensic negligence of misconduct.

Eugenia Willingham writes that there are many unanswered questions in her stepson’s case, and that only rational, independent review can address them. She writes:

My family has lost three beautiful little children and their loving father. We want answers. We want to know how the justice system got so badly off-track in Todd’s case, and we want to know how many other families have been devastated by erroneous evidence in arson cases in Texas.

Attacking my son won’t change the troubling lack of evidence in his case, and it won’t answer questions that refuse to go away.

 

Read Eugenia Willingham’s op-ed

. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 10/30/09)

Meanwhile, Barry Scheck and State Senator Rodney Ellis (who also serves as the Innocence Project Board Chairman) write that it’s important for the Texas Forensic Science Commission (TFSC) to stick to its mission of investigating forensic issues — not just in Willingham’s case, but in many others as well. At a hearing on Nov. 10, the new chairman of the TFSC will update the Texas Senate Criminal Justice Committee on his plans for continuing the commission's work. Scheck and Ellis write:

As we turn toward the next steps for the commission, it's critical to remember why the commission was created — and what the investigation of the Willingham case and other arson cases is really about. The commission was never investigating whether an innocent man had been executed; that's not its role. Instead, the commission is trying to determine whether the forensic analysts in the Willingham case negligently used unreliable methods, whether there are other past cases where unreliable arson analysis was employed, and what, if any, corrective action should be taken.


Read their full op-ed

. (Houston Chronicle, 10/30/09)

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