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Reply #16: Willingham was dealt a bad hand:. [View All]

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BREMPRO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-04-09 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Willingham was dealt a bad hand:.
Edited on Fri Sep-04-09 01:52 AM by BREMPRO
poor legal representation that believed he was guilty;
arson investigators using folklore instead of science;
evidence of a confession from an unreliable jail house snitch
eyewitnesses and character witnesses who changed their stories when confronted with his assumed guilt;
Prejudice from those who viewed his tattoo and skull and Led Zeppelin posters as evidence he was a "Psychopath"
"expert" testimony from the infamous paid hacks including "Dr Death";
and living in a state with cowboy justice and a fictional appeal boards.

Looks like they may finally enact reforms and admit they executed a legally and factually innocent man. This is a watershed moment on this issue, and fitting that it comes from the state with the record for most executions. He continued to confess his innocence till the moment he was murdered by the state and hoped someday his name would be cleared. Looks like he will get his final wish.

"In 2005, Texas established a government commission to investigate allegations of error and misconduct by forensic scientists. The first cases that are being reviewed by the commission are those of Willingham and Willis. In mid-August, the noted fire scientist Craig Beyler, who was hired by the commission, completed his investigation. In a scathing report, he concluded that investigators in the Willingham case had no scientific basis for claiming that the fire was arson, ignored evidence that contradicted their theory, had no comprehension of flashover and fire dynamics, relied on discredited folklore, and failed to eliminate potential accidental or alternative causes of the fire. He said that Vasquezs approach seemed to deny rational reasoning and was more characteristic of mystics or psychics. Whats more, Beyler determined that the investigation violated, as he put it to me, not only the standards of today but even of the time period. The commission is reviewing his findings, and plans to release its own report next year. Some legal scholars believe that the commission may narrowly assess the reliability of the scientific evidence. There is a chance, however, that Texas could become the first state to acknowledge officially that, since the advent of the modern judicial system, it had carried out the execution of a legally and factually innocent person.
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