|09-13-2009, 01:10 AM||#1|
helmet to helmet hitter
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Arlington, TX
The Horrifying Case of how Texas Murdered Cameron Todd Willingham
This is one of the most sickening and emotionally disturbing indictments of our criminal justice system I've ever read related to a single case. If you can read this without finding something inside you that gets angry, there is something seriously wrong with you.
This story is WAY to long to post in here, and unless you commit the time it takes to reading all of it, you won't begin to grasp it. Commenting on it without reading it is worthless, which is why I didn't post only part of it. Hopefully there are 3 or 4 people who take the time to read this. It's well worth the time.
At the end of the day, this guy was failed at every level, which is why his case is so representative of the system in general. His court appointed defense attorneys were useless...uncaring, unmotivated and incompetent. The prosecutors used medical mersenaries and and a barely lucid career criminal informant they cut a deal with in order to make their case. The arson investigators were morons. The people who witnessed the events changed their tune at the behest of cops bent on making a case. Worst of all, the courts failed entirely, especially the Texas Court of Crimal Appeals. Beyond that, the Board of Pardons and Parole and Texas Governor Rick Parry, even when face to face with incontravertible proof this man was innocent, failed to do so much as even look at the evidence and sent an innocent man to his death...a state sponsored murder is the only thing this can be called.
The one person who cared enough to listen and do something, went far beyond the call of duty. Without her efforts, this story would have never been known.
If something this wrong can happen, the only way I can reconcile it is to believe that somehow good will come from it in the end. Nothing else makes a lick of sense.
I favor the death penalty...but I favor it only when we can figure out how to make the system work properly. It doesn't work now. If you've been under the illusion it does, reading this will make you re-evaluate that idea.
|09-13-2009, 01:30 AM||#2|
A verbis ad verbera
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Long Beach
I read that as well.
We need prison reform
we need new sentencing guidelines
We need states to do away with the death penalty. The extra trials and security needed to house them just isn't worth it.
Also in a country where people say the govt rarely gets things right, do we want them killing people for crimes? I mean there are a lot of dirty cops, dirty judges, bad CSI investigators etc etc.
We can't keep sending young black males, and Latinos to prison just to turn them into better more dangerous criminals.
About 80% of people in prison will get out someday. I could be wrong on that number but I know it's high % will get out.
We can't let prison gangs control the prisons.
We have to segregate by gang.
Low level offenders need prisons that educate and then find jobs for them as you release them.
Violent offender needs to be send to work labor prisons until the prove they are ready for the ones that educate and release you.
Gangmembers you throw in the worst prisons imaginable.
Of course ACLU will fight you on most of this.
Also we should look to start releasing prisoners over the age of 60. They have a really low % for going back to prison. Think Shawshank redemption.
|09-13-2009, 02:47 PM||#3|
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Twixt Hell & Highwater
And then there is this:
"This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is “actually” innocent." Antonin Scalia
|09-14-2009, 01:10 PM||#4|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Nov 2006
Repugnant, but there are still people even on this forum who will still support the death penalty.
The core of the mistake in this case and for many of the ills in our society is that people take things on faith, and ignore the evidence.
"In a scathing report, he concluded that investigators in the Willingham case had no scientific basis for claiming that the fire was arson, ignored evidence that contradicted their theory, had no comprehension of flashover and fire dynamics, relied on discredited folklore, and failed to eliminate potential accidental or alternative causes of the fire."
Under no system can the death penalty be used without mistake (thus it should never be used), but to employ anything other than evidence and logic based analysis of a situation indicates that we have problems in all of our police work.