Fire, Death and Looking for Posthumous Innocence

A new Frontline documentary looks at a possibly erroneous 2004 Texas execution for arson

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cameron Todd Willingham was executed by the state of Texas in 2004. He was tried, convicted, and executed by lethal injection for setting fire to his home and killing his three young daughters, on December 23, 1991.

But forensic investigators have called the facts of the case into question – most notably whether the fire was arson, or an accident. (Willingham maintained his innocence to the very end, passing up a chance to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence.)

The new evidence didn't come in time to save Willingham's life, but it may yet clear his name. Today, a judge in Texas is looking at the case, and a Frontline documentary airing next week will lay out the new evidence. What happens when the government admits they've killed an innocent man? Jessie Deeter, producer and director of "Death by Fire," and with Mike Hall, senior editor at Texas Monthly join the program.


Jessie Deeter and Michael Hall

Produced by:

Posey Gruener

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