Thursday, September 23, 2010

Host a Viewing Party and Watch World Premiere of Documentary about Todd Willingham "Death by Fire" Oct 19

Watch the documentary "Death by Fire" on air and online beginning Tuesday, October 19th at 9 pm on PBS (check local listings) and at: You can also hold a viewing party with your friends to watch together. Contact Texas Moratorium Network for some ideas on organizing a viewing party (512-961-6389).

Check local listings to see what time "Death by Fire" airs on Frontline in your city on October 19 to watch the new documentary about the Todd Willingham case. You can watch in the comfort of your own home. 

Watch the trailer here:

You could invite friends over to watch the documentary with you. If you are in high school or college, you could gather your friends, watch "Death by Fire" together and then discuss what you think about the case and about the death penalty.

Did Texas execute an innocent man? Several controversial death penalty cases are currently under examination in Texas and in other states, but it’s the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham—convicted for the arson deaths of his three young children—that’s now at the center of the national debate. With unique access to those closest to the case, FRONTLINE examines the Willingham conviction in light of new science that raises doubts about whether the fire at the center of the case was really arson at all. The film meticulously examines the evidence used to convict Willingham, provides an in-depth portrait of those most impacted by the case, and explores the explosive implications of the execution of a possibly innocent man.

After you watch the full documentary on October 19, consider writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about what you think about the Willingham case and how you think governments should respond to the news that an innocent person was in all likelihood executed. Should the death penalty be repealed? Should there be a moratorium on executions?

What else can you do?

1) Discuss the issue with your friends and family.

2) Write the Governor of Texas:

3) Find out who represents you as Texas state senator and state representative. Contact your state legislators and urge them to support a moratorium on executions and a death penalty study commission.

4) Sign a petition:

5) Attend the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty at the Texas Capitol in Austin on October 30, 2010.

6) Join the Facebook group Todd Willingham – Innocent and Executed: Shout it from the Rooftops.

7) You can upload a video to our YouTube group of you or a group of your friends “shouting” that Todd Willingham was innocent. You can also upload a video of you alone in front of your computer on a webcam making a statement that Todd was innocent. You don’t have to actually “shout” it, but you can.

Shout this name from the rooftops, Todd Willingham. He was innocent and Texas killed him. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in 2006, wrote that, in the modern judicial system there has not been “a single case–not one–in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit. If such an event had occurred in recent years, we would not have to hunt for it; the innocent’s name would be shouted from the rooftops.” 

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