Five years ago, Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Texas on criminal charges for allegedly committing arson at his own home in 1991, killing his three children.
Willingham was convicted of murder and then executed in 2004 – but now a nationally recognized fire scientist has alerted the state of Texas that for a household fire, there was not really a reason to accuse Willingham of arson.
If the Texas state commission on forensics comes to the same conclusion – that maybe Willingham should not have died for this case – it will be the first time a state has declared that a prisoner on death row was wrongfully executed.
According to the Chicago Tribune, a report on the case concludes that there was no evidence proving that Willingham set the blaze – leaving the possibility that the deaths of the three children were accidental, and meaning that their father was wrongfully accused and killed on death row.
Much investigation has gone into this criminal case in the last five years – and the state of Texas will have to respond at some point. How likely it is that the state will admit a wrongful execution? To be determined.