The Texas Forensic Science Commission was preparing to review the evidence that led to the conviction of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 for the alleged arson and murder of his own children. This New Yorker article makes a persuasive case that Wilingham was innocent, and convicted on the basis of highly questionable forensic science. (The word “quackery” comes to mind.) Although serious questions had been raised about the forensic evidence upon which Willingham was convicted prior to his execution, Gov. Perry denied a requested stay.
The commission was scheduled to meet tomorrow to review the Willingham case — emphasis on “was.” As the Dallas Morning News reports, Texas Governor Rick Perry’s suddenly decided to replace three commissioners this week, each of whose terms had expired several weeks ago. The commission’s new chairman canceled the hearing, citing lack of time to prepare, and has not committed to rescheduling an examination of the Willingham case.