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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…

Florida: Death penalty opponents call on DeSantis to stop execution

Bobby Joe Long
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Death penalty opponents are calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to stop the execution of serial killer on death row.

Bobby Joe Long is scheduled to be executed Thursday at Florida State Prison for the 1984 murder of Michelle Simms in Hillsborough County.

In 1985, Long pleaded guilty to seven additional first-degree murder charges and numerous charges for sexual batteries and kidnappings in the Tampa Bay Area.

Long’s attorney has filed appeals to try to block the execution, a process that likely will continue leading up to Thursday.

If given a lethal injection, he would be the first death row inmate executed since Gov. DeSantis took office in January.

Death penalty opponents want DeSantis to stop the execution, saying capital punishment is not a deterrent to crime.

“Once you cross a threshold, it can be tough to go back from," Michael Sheedy of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops. "We believe that he does recognize the really serious nature of this. We are hopeful, again, that he will stay this execution.”

28 inmates were executed under the watch of former governor Rick Scott during his eight years in office, the most of any Florida governor since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.


Source: mysuncoast.com, Staff, May 21, 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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