Trial By Fire

David Grann of the New Yorker, has written a disturbing and vindicating article about Todd Willingham, a man who saw his reputation and his life literally destroyed by the state.

It’s a lengthy piece, but definitely worth pursuing.  For those of you who are interested in seeing yet another example of why this shameful system needs to be reformed, or are simply in the mood to read a compelling true story, look no further.

Here is a brief excerpt:

LaFayette Collins, who was a member of the board at the time, told me of the process, “You don’t vote guilt or innocence. You don’t retry the trial. You just make sure everything is in order and there are no glaring errors.” He noted that although the rules allowed for a hearing to consider important new evidence, “in my time there had never been one called.” When I asked him why Hurst’s report didn’t constitute evidence of “glaring errors,” he said, “We get all kinds of reports, but we don’t have the mechanisms to vet them.” Alvin Shaw, another board member at the time, said that the case didn’t “ring a bell,” adding, angrily, “Why would I want to talk about it?” Hurst calls the board’s actions “unconscionable.”

read more
For information on similar cases, and how you can help, see The Innocence Project.

For information on how best to reform the current unjustice system, and the idea of “criminality”, see Criminon.

Also check out camerontoddwillingham.com to learn more of Todd Willingham’s life and death, and how you can help restore his reputation.

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