Stories

Cameron Todd Willingham

Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Texas in 2004 for setting fire to his house and killing his three young daughters.  During his trial 13 years earlier, prosecutors argued that Mr. Willingham intentionally started the fire with the intention of murdering his daughters.  Mr. Willingham, however, maintained his innocence throughout the trial, saying he was asleep in the home when the fire started.  A death verdict was reached, however, based on arson expert testimony and a jailhouse informant who said Mr. Willingham had confessed to him. 

The arson investigation used to convict him was questioned by leading experts before Mr. Willingham was executed and serious doubt remained as to his guilt.  This, however, did not stop the execution from going forward in 2004.  Since the execution, further evidence in the case has led to the inescapable conclusion that Willingham did not set the fire for which he was executed; he was innocent.

Read the New Yorker Article