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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…

Man convicted in 4 killings set for execution in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A man convicted of murder in a quadruple killing after a dispute over a pickup truck is set to be executed in Alabama.

Forty-one-year-old Michael Brandon Samra is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Thursday evening at the state prison in Atmore.

Samra and friend Mark Duke were convicted of killing Duke's father, the father's girlfriend and the woman's two elementary-age daughters in March 1997. 

Evidence showed Duke planned the killings because his father wouldn't let him use his pickup.

Duke and Samra both were originally sentenced to death, but Duke's sentence was overturned because he was 16 at the time of the killings. 

Samra was 19 at the time.

Another execution is scheduled Thursday in Tennessee.

Source: Associated Press, Staff, May 16, 2019


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