Charles Baird, a Texas State District Judge, has taken up the task in considering whether a man who was convicted and executed for setting fire to his house that killed his 3 children was wrongfully convicted under the bounds of flawed science.
Judge Baird granted to reopen the case on behalf of Cameron Todd Willingham’s family who requested an investigation to find out of he was in fact wrongfully convicted by the bounds of faulty science, as well as examine whether the state failed to adequately investigate exculpatory evidence before Willingham’s execution in 2004.
The lawsuit seeks to repair Willingham’s reputation by the Court issuing a decree stating the he was wrongfully accused and convicted, as well as seeks to examine whether state officials committed official oppression in their handling of his appeals. The case has been examined many times and has been the subject of three independent reviews that state the fire supposedly started by Willingham should not have been ruled out as arson and also claims that investigators used the science that was available in that time period, even though it was faulty science.
Lawyers who are representing Willingham’s family claim that prosecutors solely relied on the testimony from two fire officials who claimed that evidence supported that Willingham did in fact set fire to his home with his children in it.
Even when a respected arson expert analyzed Willingham’s case and deliberately discredited most of the testimony and claimed it was based on “completely unsupportable methodologies”, Willingham was still sentenced to death.