Family of Executed Texas Man Seeks to Clear His Name

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Eight years after Cameron Todd Willingham was executed for the 1991 arson-murder of his three young children, his surviving family members asked the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to pardon him posthumously yesterday.

“My son Todd was convicted on false evidence,” Eugenia Willingham said at a press conference. “How I’d like to be proud of the Willingham name again.”

Willingham’s case is at the center of the debate over the death penalty in America. In the 2010 film Death By FireFRONTLINE probed the controversial fire science used to convict him, exploring the explosive implications of the execution of a possibly innocent man.

In January 2010, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott released an opinion that allowed for posthumous pardons to be granted. Board of Pardons and Paroles spokesman Harold Battson said such cases typically take three to four months to consider.

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