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Did Texas execute an innocent man? Film revisits a haunting question.

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Texans will have an opportunity to revisit a question that should haunt anyone who believes in the integrity of our criminal justice system: Did our state execute an innocent man? 
The new film “Trial by Fire” tells the true story of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was sentenced to death for setting a fire to his home in Corsicana that killed his three young daughters in 1991. The film is based on an investigative story by David Grann that appeared in the New Yorker in 2009, five years after Willingham was executed over his vociferous protestations of innocence.
In my experience of serving 8 years on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and 4 years as a state district judge in Travis County, the Willingham case stands out to me for many of the same reasons it stood out to filmmaker Edward Zwick, who calls it a veritable catalogue of everything that’s wrong with the criminal justice system and, especially, the death penalty. False testimony, junk science, a jailhouse informant, and ineffe…

Delaware lawmakers consider reinstating death penalty

Delaware road sign
Associated Press -- State lawmakers are circulating bipartisan legislation to restore capital punishment in Delaware.

The legislation, expected to be introduced soon, specifies that the death penalty could not be imposed unless a jury, unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt, finds at least one aggravating circumstance that makes a crime eligible for capital punishment.

Delaware’s Supreme Court declared the state’s death penalty law unconstitutional in 2016 because it allowed judges too much discretion and did not require that a jury find unanimously and beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant deserves execution. 

That ruling came after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Florida’s similar death sentencing law.

Democratic Gov. John Carney said Tuesday that he might sign a bill allowing capital punishment only if it was restricted to killers of law enforcement officials.

Source: The Associated Press, Staff, May 15, 2019


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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