cameron todd willingham

LA Times: Texas Gov. Rick Perry may want to run for president. So let me reintroduce you a former constituent of his, Cameron Todd Willingham. Perry oversaw the 2004 execution of Willingham, a father of three convicted for the apparent arson murder of his young daughters. Problem was, the evidence used to prove Willingham set the fire that killed his children was based on shoddy science and obsolete investigation techniques, facts that were brought to Perry’s attention before Willingham’s death. Declaring his innocence to the end, Willingham was executed 12 years after his children’s deaths.

The New Yorker published a lengthy piece in 2009 (here) detailing the whole affair, a depressing portrayal of a government more interested in self-preservation than in serving justice….

….Perry denied Willingham a stay of execution … and frustrated an investigation by the Texas Forensic Science Commission, replacing three of its members days before the board was set to discuss a report that cast serious doubt on the evidence used to send Willingham to the lethal injection gurney. The meeting was canceled.

….Texas executes far more people than any other state, so it’s understandable that Lone Star State Republicans would give their governor a pass. But a Perry candidacy might prod conservatives in less execution-friendly states (such as, say, New Hampshire, which last knotted a noose in 1939) to answer for his apparent indifference to profound injustice.

Texas let Perry off the hook; the rest of the nation may not be so forgiving.

More here (More links here about the case)

17 Responses to “cameron todd willingham”

  1. 1 lisalovesobama
    June 24, 2011 at 10:24 am


  2. 2 theo67
    June 24, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Karma will take care of this brand of evil.

  3. June 24, 2011 at 10:36 am

    But but but I thought perry was going to save the GOP and chuck Todd said his state is doing wonders economically and the msm said that the tea baggers love him thus so does the press and…

  4. June 24, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I read about this poor man and his sad sad story. Just all around awful what he and his family went through. This is true injustice here and apparently one of the many horrible things Rick Perry is guilty of as Governor of Texas. He will never be President of this country, never.

    • 11 theo67
      June 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm

      And there are many stories just like his all over the South, and particularly in Texas. This country should never allow a Texan (especially a male one) ever to get close to the Presidency ever again.

      • 12 utaustinliberal
        June 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm

        Oh no don’t say that Theo…. hahaha… I’m sure a great Texan who is a democrat would be great for this country and trust me there are a lot of us here and growing strong. With Kay Bailey Hutchinson retiring, a Latino democrat could take her place. (crossing my fingers)

        As for Rick Perry; he and his maker will face each other and he will have to answer for his injustices. He and his douchebaggery pseudo science is the same thing that’s killing Texas in the case of teen pregnancy. Perry has been using pseudo science to suggest that abstinence only education is the way to go, b/c “scientifically” it worked out fine for him. Really?

  5. June 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    This is ultimately why Perry won’t run. I wish he would for this very reason so people can see what a sonuvabitch he is and what he did purely for politics. He essentially murdered the guy.

  6. June 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Here is a fully damming article on Governor Goodhair, in case he jumps in & we need MORE on him. It’s good, if you can call it that:

  7. 15 Karen Sr.
    June 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    This case was reported (Rachel?) before the last election. See, the rest of the media didn’t (or wouldn’t) cover this scandal. I don’t expect the GOP loving media to do any expose any time soon. They’re searching for their next crotch photo because a picture is worth a 1000 words and investigative reporting takes work.

  8. 16 Karen Sr.
    June 24, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Texas Gov. Who Refused Stimulus Funds Asks for Loan

    Earlier this year, Texas Governor Rick Perry was one of a handful of Republican governors who refused some federal stimulus funds from President Obama’s economic recovery package on the grounds that there were too many strings attached to the money.

    Now that the state is dire straits, however, Perry is asking the federal government for a loan to cover the very expenses the rejected stimulus money would have paid for.

    While Perry accepted most of the roughly $17 billion in stimulus funds allocated for Texas, the governor in March rejected $555 million that would have covered state unemployment benefits. Perry said he was not accepting the money because the state would have been obligated to expand its unemployment coverage, creating too much of a long term tax burden.

    At the time, Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken reportedly said the state’s unemployment compensation trust fund could be operating at a deficit by October. Now that the state’s unemployment funds are depleting faster than expected, the governor is asking for a $170 million loan from the federal government, News 8 Austin reports.

    “This is nothing out of the ordinary,” Perry reportedly said. “We’re following protocol that we put in place.”

    Democratic legislators in Texas are speaking out against the governor’s actions.

    “That $555 million would that would have come with the stimulus money wouldn’t have to be paid back to the federal government, and that would have saved business taxpayers money for the next 20 years,” said Democratic State Rep. Mark Strama, according to News 8 Austin.

    Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-5166310-503544.html#ixzz1QFSF6S8t


    What struck me when I read this is Perry is touted for his jobs record. So, why have unemployment funds depleted faster than expected? And, like Rick Scott in FL, he refused stimulus and then had to turn around and use it to balance their budgets.

    And, these are the business bona fides we are supposed to accept?


    While Gov. Rick Perry is criticizing Washington bailouts, state lawmakers are planning to use $11 million in federal stimulus money to help rebuild the badly burned Texas Governor’s Mansion.

    Around $10 million in state tax money is also slated to be spent on a renovation expected to cost about $20 million, officials said.


  9. 17 northanger
    June 24, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    First time I heard about this case it described “flashover” and how arson investigations are done in the U.S. (not very scientifically sometimes). You can see videos of this effect online, concerning what arson investigators learned from the Lime Street Fire &c. If you want to read more: David Grann’s 2009 story in Vanity Fair is good. Trial By Fire: Did Texas execute an innocent man?. The flashover evidence made me question Willingham’s guilty verdict, but the decision not to grant him clemency was definitely misguided.

    Great post, Chipsticks.

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