October 23rd, 2009
09:30 PM ET

Documents: Arson expert's report on the Willingham case


Craig Beyler was ready to testify before a committee reviewing the investigation that led to the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham. Writing a report titled "Analysis of the Fire Investigation Methods and Procedures Used in the Criminal Arson Cases Against Ernest Ray Willis and Cameron Todd Willingham" Beyler wrote that the investigators handling the case "had poor understandings of fire science" and that "a finding of arson could not be sustained" based on the way the investigation team had conducted itself. A scathing report in an investigation that had already been called under question.

But then 48 hours before Beyler was scheduled to be heard, Texas Governor Rick Perry removed the head of the review commission and three other panel members canceling the commission's review and Beyler's testimony. The commission has not since reconvened.

Read the full contents of Craig Beyler's report...

Filed under: Death penalty
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Annie Kate

    Governor should have allowed this investigation to continue with the same people – if there is evidence that exonerates Willingham although it is too late to save his life, his name at least could be cleared and forensic evidence practices can be standardized and quality controlled so when it is interpreted the right interpretation is arrived at so a person gets a fair trial.

    October 23, 2009 at 9:33 pm |