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Expert says fire for which father was executed was not arson

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posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 01:20 AM
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Expert says fire for which father was executed was not arson


www.chicagotribune.com

In a withering critique, a nationally known fire scientist has told a state commission on forensics that Texas fire investigators had no basis to rule a deadly house fire was an arson -- a finding that led to the murder conviction and execution of Cameron Todd Willingham.

The finding comes in the first state-sanctioned review of an execution in Texas, home to the country's busiest death chamber. If the commission reaches the same conclusion, it could lead to the first-ever declaration by an official state body that an inmate was wrongly executed.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 01:20 AM
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Texas has the highest execution rate in the country. It was apparently in such a hurry to execute Cameron Todd Willingham they couldn't wait until a proper investigation was conducted. Issues about his possible innocence surfaced in December, 2004. Willingham was executed the previous February.

We, as a society, are exposed to crime narratives like the Forensic Files on Tru TV and similar networks. In these programs the killer is always exposed by brilliant investigative work and receives his or her just punishment. We come to believe this is the way criminal justice works, and that detection is a mostly accurate science. In truth, arrests and convictions are often based on hunches, circumstantial evidence, or on
false accusations.

It would seem like newer methods of investigation, such as DNA evidence, would reduce the error rate and lead to more certainty about outcomes. But as this story shows the justice system is wrong much more often than we realize and that real investigation is sometimes too late.

My heart goes out to his family members, who will continue to suffer long after their father's pain has ended.

www.chicagotribune.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



[edit on 25-8-2009 by Sestias]



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 03:22 AM
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This makes me sick to my stomach, and I'm quite with you on the "CSI" entertainment epidemic.

I try to explain to people I know, especially my parents, that all these CourtTV shows and CSI investigation shows are there to convince the average viewer that the justice system is omnipotent and faultless. That every single one of the viewers can and will be at fault and will be liable 100%.

I believe there is about 8 "court" tv shows on during the day and who knows how many CSI-style shows. Sure, it can be entertaining, but when you sit down and really think about what it is you're watching, it hits like you a ton of bricks.

That poor man.

His last moments, before he was executed were probably filled with the thoughts that he will be falsely known as a murderer and arsonist, forever. Well I say nay, you will not.

[edit on 25-8-2009 by SyphonX]



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 03:33 AM
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This is the simple reason of why the death pentaly should not be used. In the UK this man would sitll be alive, and could be released from prison a free man.


Personally I think the death penalty is wrong because it is wrong to kill, but even if you arer of the stance that a murderer DOES deserve to die, is it still a viable option when innocent people are at risk too? Especially when there is another option...



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 05:09 AM
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Originally posted by StevenDye
This is the simple reason of why the death pentaly should not be used. In the UK this man would sitll be alive, and could be released from prison a free man.


Personally I think the death penalty is wrong because it is wrong to kill, but even if you arer of the stance that a murderer DOES deserve to die, is it still a viable option when innocent people are at risk too? Especially when there is another option...


With you one hundred percent on this - Even if one supports the idea of execution of those who commit heinous crimes one cannot support the death penalty in the light of a system of justice which is so flawed and subject to error ...error that costs innocent people their lives - such a system is crime in itself....

Sad sad story - its heart breaking



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 05:49 AM
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I agree that this is yet another example of why the death penalty is a terrible policy. Part of the justice system in America is the appeals process and to unjustly deny someone that with the death penalty is unconstitutional.

People are certainly entitled to think that someone should deserve to die for their crimes, but the question is whether the government's job should focus on protecting society or meting out vengeance.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 09:44 AM
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It is a shame that this happened, if indeed he was innocent. However the death penalty is not always a bad thing.

Don't flame me yet, let me explain. Presume that this man was not wrongly convicted. If that were the case, then he is a murderer, and there are many others much more ruthless then him out there. Why does a murderer deserve life after he purposly took away anothers? When we catch a murderer, why would we want to pay to keep the worthless waste of life alive? Our prisions are overcrowded and it is expensive to keep them alive. In Florida it costs $55.09/day on average to keep an inmate in prision source that is $20,108/year.



It is a shame that this case went wrong, and if the man was innocent, then what a terrible mistake. BUT the dealth penalty is a necessity.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 09:48 AM
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Backwards people and the death penalty = innocent deaths.

Second line.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 10:10 AM
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Originally posted by MysterE
It is a shame that this happened, if indeed he was innocent. However the death penalty is not always a bad thing.

. Presume that this man was not wrongly convicted.


But he was wrongly convicted.


It is a shame that this case went wrong, and if the man was innocent, then what a terrible mistake. BUT the dealth penalty is a necessity.


Would you be saying the same if YOUR mother or father were in this posistion.

To the OP:

This breaks my heart, when I hear of these thing I picture my mother or father going through something like this and it's wrong, and I just really don't know what to say about this, words cannot express how I feel.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 10:17 AM
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The real problem with the death penalty is that these cases are career builders for the lawyers and prosecutors. One good famous death penalty case can make the political career of an lawyer. Name recognition and wealth are behind the misguided cases of the innocent being convicted and death penalty convictions in most cases.

How many of us have seen first hand how evidence held back or buried that would exonerate the accused? Judges that refuse to let evidence into court because he feels that 'It will confuse the jury"???

I can and do agree that sometimes when used, it was used correctly. When 3 or more witnesses see the murder and all the forensics are correct. That scenario is few and far between though. It's what's so hard to prove unless some leeway is allowed by courts. To go overboard and deny any and all evidence to be seen by the jury is not a way to get a fair trial!

This case is proof that more needs to be done to guarantee a fair and impartial trial for capital crimes!

Zindo

Zindo



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by MysterE

It is a shame that this case went wrong, and if the man was innocent, then what a terrible mistake. BUT the dealth penalty is a necessity.



No, you simply CAN NOT claim it a necessity. There is no death penalty in the UK. We manage, it isn't easy and there are problems, but we manage. Having to deal with a few problems is better than the death of an innocent person.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 11:37 AM
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Originally posted by StevenDye

No, you simply CAN NOT claim it a necessity. There is no death penalty in the UK. We manage, it isn't easy and there are problems, but we manage. Having to deal with a few problems is better than the death of an innocent person.


Your no death penalty system just released a convicted terrorist as a bargining chip **oops** on compashionate grounds, so don't tell me your system is better. That plane bombing @-hole should have been fried. Thats what the death penalty is for.

I'm nopt saying we cannot do a better job finding out who is deserving of the chair, but SOME people deserve it.

-E-

[edit on 25-8-2009 by MysterE]



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 11:47 AM
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Originally posted by MysterE
Originally posted by StevenDye

Your no death penalty system just released a convicted terrorist as a bargining chip **oops** on compashionate grounds, so don't tell me your system is better. That plane bombing @-hole should have been fried. Thats what the death penalty is for.



Lol, this is coming from a bloke who lives in a country that systematically invades the wrong country after flying planes into its own towers (with the help of the Israeli's) and then blames it on Muslims.

Yeah we REALLY need your advice.

[edit on 25-8-2009 by mr-lizard]

[edit on 25-8-2009 by mr-lizard]



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 11:50 AM
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reply to post by MysterE
 


Should he have been let go, no he most certainly she not. That was a freak happening, the country and even government parties are outraged over his release.

So lets put it down to a 'mistake' kind of like Americas...only in ours an innocent person didn't die because of it.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by mr-lizard

Lol, this is coming from a bloke who lives in a country that systematically invades the wrong country after flying planes into its own towers (with the help of the Israeli's) and then blames it on Muslims.

Yeah we REALLY need your advice.


I'm not argueing that America doesn't do stupid stuff, I'm comparing how our countries deal with their murderers. Try and stay on track Liz.


Originally posted by StevenDye
only in ours an innocent person didn't die because of it


Oh innocent people died alright. As a matter of fact 270 innocent people died. And if he was executed like he should have been, then I wouldn't have to worry about this mad man doing it again. And your country would not have had to pay to keep this terrorist murderer alive for the last 20 years. (Probably about $500,000)

-E-

[edit on 25-8-2009 by MysterE]



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 12:16 PM
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I was at a court trial where they brought in an "expert" to claim that something that was obvious was not true. It actually hurt the case. However, I would like to know WHO this "expert" has worked for in the past and who are his associations. Does he work or have associations with anti death penalty lobby? Who is paying him? etc.

I know that the Justice System can mess up. I have seen first hand innocent people go to prison. This is unexceptable if what he says happened is true. On the other hand, I have also seen "experts" come in with agendas to taint the truth. That's what is so hard anymore. Who do you trust and who do you believe is telling the truth? We know we can't believe a ton of what we get from the MSM (including Fox). Yet the MSM is where most people get most of their news and the ONLY source for a lot of the news we get. Tragic situation no matter what the truth is.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 12:24 PM
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The Chicago Tribune, in some instances aided by journalism students at Northwestern University and others, has been active in investigating and uncovering cases of possible false execution for a number of years.

At one point there were so many dubious cases uncovered in Illinois that the governor declared a moratorium for all people on death row. I'm not sure if the moratorium is still in effect. I will do some research on that.

At one time I, too, believed it was just to execute those who commit such awful crimes that society is revolted, but that those instances should be few and far between. Now I'm not so sure. As a society we need to decide whether one false execution justifies keeping many possible murderers alive. I tend to think it does.



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 12:28 PM
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I understand the difficulty here:

You don't (understandably) want to waste your tax money on murderers being kept alive and imprisoned.

Yet to demand the death penalty is just as bad as the people who commited murder in the first place. State killing is still killing.

The USA should not become like china or Iran and it's just a shame the rednecks in Texas wish to lower the standards.

Tricky eh?



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 12:38 PM
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So this is the innocent guy we are agrueing about...
From wiki


In addition to the arson evidence, a jailhouse informant claimed Willingham confessed that he set the fire to hide his wife's physical abuse of the girls, although the girls showed no other injuries besides those caused by the fire[1]. Neighbors also testified that Willingham did not try hard enough to save his children. They allege he "crouched down" in his front yard and watched the house burn for a period of time without attempting to enter the home or go to neighbors for help or request they call firefighters. [2]. He claimed that he tried to go back into the house but it was "too hot". As firefighters arrived, however, he rushed towards the garage and pushed his car away from the burning building, requesting firefighters do the same rather than put out the fire. After the fire, Willingham showed no emotion at the death of his children and spent the next day sorting through the debris, laughing and playing music. He expressed anger after finding his dartboard burned in the fire. Firefighters and other witnesses found him suspicious of how he reacted during and after the fire.


Wow, what a great Dad, didn't even try to call for help, or try to save his kids, but just HAD to save the car.


After his conviction, he and his wife divorced. She later stated that she believed that Willingham was guilty. Prosecutors alleged this was part of a pattern of behavior intended to rid himself of his children. Willingham had a history of committing crimes, including burglary, grand larceny and car theft. There was also an incident when he beat his pregnant wife over the stomach with a telephone to induce a miscarriage.


Pregnant wife beating criminal..... Ya, we really missed the target on this guy. Good riddens

-E-



posted on Aug, 25 2009 @ 12:49 PM
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Yes, I found a link. Scroll down the information on Jon Burge (interesting in itself) to the section titled "Abuse-related decisions." Evidently the moratorium on death row cases was instituted in 2000 by Governor Ryan, and it continued until 2003, when he left office.

It looks like the death penalty is now in effect again.

Wiki on abuse of death penalty in Illinois



[edit on 25-8-2009 by Sestias]



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