Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

The Willingham Files

September 9, 2009

(09-09-09) State panel to hear Willingham arson report

Investigator to share findings in Willingham case

An independent review that claims the arson investigation that led to the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham was flawed will be presented to a state panel Oct. 2 in Dallas.

The Texas Forensic Science Commission will hold its next quarterly meeting at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 2 at the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas. On the agenda is a review and discussion of the report on the investigation into the Willingham case.

Willingham was executed in 2004 for murder, having been convicted of killing his three small daughters in a 1991 house fire in Corsicana. At the request of the Innocence Project the commission contracted with an independent company to review the case for possible forensics errors.

The reviewer, Craig Beyler, will be on hand at the meeting and will answer questions from the panel.

In his report, issued on Aug. 17, Beyler was critical of the investigation, primarily based on the court testimony. Local investigators have said the report is incomplete and misrepresents the work done in the case.

Also at the meeting, the commissioners will draft specific language on the types of responses needed from the Texas Fire Marshal’s office, according to the agenda. The case was investigated by local fire officials, and state fire arson investigators.

The primary investigator with the state fire marshal’s office has since died.

The fire marshal’s office will be allowed some months to respond, and the commission will issue its final verdict in the case next spring.

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A collection of news reports and commentary on the Willingham case is available on our online newspaper in ‘The Willingham Files.’ www.corsicanadailysun.com/thewillinghamfiles

Click here to read The Willingham Files.

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Click here to e-mail Janet Jacobs.

Click here to Soundoff on this story.

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The Willingham Files
  • Science panel suggests review of arson convictions

    A Texas commission no longer allowed to investigate a case where death penalty opponents say a man may have been executed based on a faulty arson investigation recommended Friday that all cases involving people locked up on arson convictions be reviewed.

    October 29, 2011

  • 9-30 DA Award.jpg Thompson honored for Willingham work

    Lowell Thompson, Navarro County District Attorney, was honored by his peers at the Texas District and County Attorneys Association conference last week in Corpus Christi with the Lone Star Award for his work on the Willingham case.

    September 29, 2011 1 Photo

  • Willingham not on science panel agenda DALLAS (AP) — A state science panel looking into a possible wrongful conviction in a Texas death penalty case is meeting for the first time since Gov. Rick Perry removed several members, but the execution case is not on the agenda.

    January 21, 2010

  • (12-14-09) Tarrant County medical examiner appointed to forensic commission Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Tarrant County's medical examiner to the Texas Forensic Science Commission, a group shaken up this fall when Perry replaced several members.

    December 14, 2009

  • images_sizedimage_336091456 (12-02-09) Jurors defend verdict that led to Texas execution David Martin is sickened by the suggestion that Texas executed an innocent man when Cameron Todd Willingham was put to death for setting a fire that killed his three children.

    December 2, 2009 1 Photo

  • (11-10-09) Forensic panel chair offers plans The Texas Forensic Science Commission is not going to debate the death penalty or decide the guilt or innocence of individual cases, said John Bradley

    November 10, 2009

  • (11-08-09) GUEST COMMENTARY: A work in progress I am John Bradley, the elected District Attorney in Williamson County and the new presiding officer of the nine-member Texas Forensic Science Commission. I am writing to introduce myself, explain the purpose of the Commission and inform you about the work the Commission now faces.

    November 9, 2009

  • (10-27-09) Texas Forensic Science Commission questioned The City of Corsicana is questioning the Texas Forensic Science Commission’s ability to look at the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, since it happened 14 years before the commission was created.

    November 2, 2009

  • (10-26-09) Report: Willingham's former wife, 'He confessed' In a story on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's online newspaper today, Stacey Kykendall, the former wife of executed Cameron Todd Willingham, says he confessed to her before his execution.

    October 27, 2009

  • Death penalty opponents rally at Texas Capitol AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Death penalty opponents, convinced an innocent man was executed in 2004, staged a rally Saturday at the Texas Capitol to call for a moratorium on capital punishment and to highlight the controversial case of Cameron Todd Willingham.

    October 24, 2009

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