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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Texas Legislature Should Conduct Interim Study on Todd Willingham Case and the Need for a Moratorium on Executions

The Texas Legislature should conduct an interim study on the Todd Willingham case, whether Texas has executed an innocent person, and whether Texas should enact a moratorium on executions in order to prevent more innocent people from being executed. If you live in Texas, find out who your state representative is and urge him or her to tell Speaker of the House Joe Straus to conduct an interim study on issues raised by the report that the fire in the Willingham case was not arson and that Texas most likely executed an innocent person.

The Temple Daily Telegraph is reporting that the Speaker of the Texas House, Joe Straus "commented on the recent news coverage about the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham of Corsicana and fire investigation, criticized as flawed, that played a role in him receiving the death penalty. Willingham was convicted for the December 1991 deaths of his three children, who died in a fire that investigators said he started."

Straus said he was aware of the recent (New Yorker) article, but had no plans as speaker of the house to revisit the death penalty.

“We’re in a period where I have asked members of the House to submit items for interim studies, so I’m always open-minded to whatever the members seem to want to look at,” he said. “I want the state to be responsible for whatever laws we have on the books, to make sure they are enforced fairly . . . and the death penalty is the most severe case.”

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