February 28, 2014 4:17 pm -

And another reason why the death penalty is a terrible idea.

In 2004, the state of Texas executed Cameron Todd Willingham for the crime of setting fire to his own house, killing his three children. Today, evidence is stronger than ever that his conviction was a miscarriage of justice…

(In short: the case against Willingham was based on faulty fire investigation and faulty, unjustified assumptions on the part of the prosecution.) The Innocence Project has been working for years to clear Willingham’s name posthumously. Now, evidence of yet another serious flaw in the prosecution’s case has emerged.

The main thing that led to Willingham’s conviction, besides the testimony of the fire investigator, was the testimony of Johnny Webb—a convict who was in jail with Willingham—who said that Willingham had confessed the murder to him. At the time of the trial, both Webb and the prosecutor, John Jackson, said that Webb was not offered anything in exchange for his testimony. But a note discovered in recently released case files contradicts that.

How many wrongful executions will it take before we follow the lead of every other civilized nation and eliminate the death penalty?

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.