On February 16, 2004 Gov. Rick Perry (Texas) executed an innocent man. His name was Cameron Todd Willingham and he was convicted of murder via arson for the deaths of his three young children. Perry also impeded the investigation of the incident by the Texas Forensic Science Commission when he replaced four of the nine members in an attempt to change the report showing there no evidence of arson.
In the words of GERALD HURST, Ph.D., Arson Expert:
There is not one iota of evidence that the fire was arson.
Rick Perry is a coward. He executed an innocent man to further his political ambitions.
DOUGLAS FOGG, one of the original “arson investigators”:
I don’t care how many degrees you may have, how many books you may have written, this was a set fire. We had a jury of 12 people that convicted a man who was later executed. Was Mr. Willingham innocent? In my opinion, he was guilty as the day he was born.
This is an interesting statement. This man has no idea of what fire science entails. It’s a lot more than writing books, it involves scientific experimentation using the resources of various disciplines. His contempt for science is endemic in this country. He tries to assuage his guilt by shifting the blame to the jury. In effect, he blames the jury for believing his bogus evidence.
Some may claim that Willingham received a fair trial, where “fair” is defined in some legal sense that seems to have more to do with correct procedure than with guilt or innocence. When the guilt or innocence of the defendant is not the primary concern of the legal system, then justice is illusory.
Since I can’t embed the video, you can watch the Frontline episode, here.
-David Drumm (Nal)