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Texas Forensics Science Commission Considers Willingham Case

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Posted: October 15, 2010   5:54 PM

The Texas Forensic Science Commission met today in Austin and considered the arson case of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was executed in 2004 despite his claim of innocence.

At the meeting, commissioners questioned whether Chairman John Bradley had jeopardized the commission's integrity with public comments that Willingham is a "guilty monster."
"We are being used, and we should recognize that," Bradley said (during the meeting). "When do we get to respond to those lies? Who is going to correct the record?"

"There is a difference between correcting the record and making the type of statement we are talking about," said Sarah Kerrigan, the laboratory director at the Sam Houston State regional crime lab.

But Bradley then referred to the Innocence Project's effort to clear Willingham as "politics and a circus sideshow."

"Texans deserve to have a prosecutor's voice included in the discussion of forensic science, a voice that can include concern for the victims of crime and not just the perpetrators of crime," said Bradley, who was appointed to the chairmanship last year by Gov. Rick Perry.

Stephen Saloom, the policy director of the New York-based Innocence Project, said Bradley shows "a critically important lack of objectivity" in his approach to Willingham. "His job here is not to be the DA and the friend of the governor," Saloom said.
Read the full article here.
In a related hearing, an Austin judge held a court of inquiry hearing in the Willingham case yesterday, and now a state appeals court has blocked the judge from ruling. More on Willingham and the Forensic Science Commission:

Read Saloom's October 13 letter to TFSC Commissioners responding to the "guilty monster" comment.

Visit our Willingham resource page for more on the case and the Texas Forensic Science Commission.
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