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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…

August Execution Set For Florida Killer Who Targeted Gay Men

Gary Ray Bowles
Gary Ray Bowles is an American serial killer who was sentenced to death for the murder of six men in 1994.

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — Florida’s controversial death penalty is expected to claim another life in the coming months.

A convicted killer in Florida who authorities say targeted gay men is scheduled to be executed later this summer.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a death warrant Tuesday for 57-year-old Gary Ray Bowles. 

The execution is set for Aug. 22 at Florida State Prison.

Records show Bowles was convicted of three murders and sentenced to death for the 1994 slaying of Walter Hinton.

Authorities say Bowles agreed to help Hinton move items from Georgia to Hinton’s Jacksonville home in November 1994. 

While staying with Hinton, Bowles dropped a concrete block on the other man’s head and then strangled him.

Police say Bowles confessed to the killing after his arrest and professed hatred for homosexuals. 

Investigators say Bowles also admitted to killing five other men across Florida, Georgia and Maryland.

Modus Operandi


On March 15th, 1994, in Daytona Beach, Florida, Bowles killed his first known victim, John Hardy Roberts, who had offered him a temporary place to live. 

Bowles beat and strangled him to death, and then stole his credit card. 

Police soon considered him a suspect after finding his fingerprints and probation records at the crime scene.

Over the next six months, Bowles murdered five other men in Nassau County, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; Atlanta, Georgia; and Wheaton, Montgomery County, Maryland. 

His typical modus operandi was to prostitute himself to his victims before beating and strangling them, and stealing their credit cards.

While on the run, Bowles was put on the FBI's list of the country's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives for his four known victims.

Finally, on October 22, 1994, Bowles was arrested for the murder of Walter Jamelle "Jay" Hinton, and confessed to all six murders.

Source: miami.cbslocal.com, Wikipedia, Staff, June 11, 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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