I have just finished reading journalist, David Grann’s blood-chilling article TRIAL BY FIRE (The New Yorker Magazine, Sept 7, 2009) which leaves NO DOUBT that an innocent man, Cameron Todd Willingham, was executed in 2004, in a Texas prison FOR A CRIME HE DID NOT COMMIT.. (Worse, no crime even occurred!)
I would recommend that every visitor to my website (both pro and con death penalty) take the time to read this exceptionally well-documented account of how an innocent man was convicted, imprisoned and executed. This is the first time to my knowledge that the actual innocence has been established post-execution.
This story says it all. And, it is exactly the reason why I, a 42-year veteran criminal investigator (24-years for the prosecution and 23-years for the defense) with three-hundred murder investigations under my belt – have for four decades been personally and adamantly opposed to the death penalty.
I can only hope that Cameron’s death was not in vain and will help to finally SPARK AND AWAKEN OUR NATION TO THE NEED TO ABOLISH THIS BARBARIC PRACTICE.
Please refer or forward David Grann’s New Yorker article to your friends to help spread the word.
Steve Hodel #11394
LAPD Hollywood Homicide (ret.)
THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE
Did Texas execute an innocent man?
by David Grann September 7, 2009
Cameron Todd Willingham in his cell on death row, in 1994. He insisted upon his innocence in the deaths of his children and refused an offer to plead guilty in return for a life sentence. Photograph by KEN LIGHT.
HUFFINGTON POST ARTICLE BY BARRY SCHECK ON CASE
Innocence Project/New Yorker link