Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Blowing Away the Smoke

I've previously written (here and here) about Cameron Todd Willingham and how he was convicted, sentenced to die, and executed for killing his kids, which he almost certainly did not do. The story is brilliantly told in this article by David Grann from last week's New Yorker.

As I noted, Willingham's prosecutor (the now-Judge John Jackson) published an op-ed insisting that although the arson expert who said Willingham set the fire that killed his children was wrong, since Willingham must have set the fire that killed his children, he was guilty. And we know he must have done it because he was a mean sumbitch. Or something.

Anyway, Grann has now responded to Jackson's furious, if fatuous, defense of his sending a likely innocent man to his death. If you've been following the story, it's worth a read.


  1. Sign a petition to Governor Rick Perry and the State of Texas to acknowledge that the fire in the Cameron Todd Willingham case was not arson, therefore no crime was committed and on February 17, 2004, Texas executed an innocent man.

  2. The same local paper that published the prosecutor/judge's op-ed has another piece called No Doubts (http://www.corsicanadailysun.com/thewillinghamfiles/local_story_250180658.html). The locals are fighting back.

  3. This time they say that they did the arson investigation right and that all the experts who've reviewed their work (actually, they don't acknowledge more than one) are simply wrong. And they give us the same fond claim that Jackson does: even if there was no arson he burned the house and the kids.

    As I keep saying, I don't know what happened, but I know that there's no credible evidence of anything except that Willingham wasn't a particularly nice guy. That's too bad, but it's not a capital offense.