Annual Ethics CLE: “Incendiary: The Willingham Case”
May 31 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
About the Movie
Cameron Todd Willingham was convicted of the murder of his children by arson in Navarro County, Texas. He was executed in 2004. Law enforcement who originally investigated and prosecuted the case relied on scientific evidence that has since been highly scrutinized and essentially debunked. However, while on appeal, there was a great deal of political interference in the work of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, specifically from the office of Governor Rick Perry. This film traces the appellate procedural history of this case, along with the evolution of scientific evidence with regard to arson investigation. It will prompt discussions among participants about the obligations that defense attorneys have to consult with experts regarding scientific evidence, the expectations of defense attorneys during the discovery phase of a case, as well as the pitfalls of representing a client on a high-profile case.