Parole Board Won’t Pardon Central Texas Man Executed In 2004

Cameron Todd Willingham (File)

AUSTIN (April 7, 2014) The Innocence Project says the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied its petition seeking a posthumous pardon for a Corsicana man executed for killing his three children in a house fire.

Cameron Todd Willingham was arrested and charged on Jan. 8, 1992, two weeks after his daughters Amber Louis Kuykendall, 2, and twins Karmon Diane Willingham, 1, and Kameron Marie Willingham, 1, died in the fire two days before Christmas in the family’s home.

He was executed in 2004.

Fire experts who have reviewed evidence in the case dispute the testimony of investigators who testified in 1992 that Willingham set the fire deliberately and say that conclusion was based on faulty arson science.

A letter from the parole board released last week says the agency denied the pardon for Willingham, whose case has been cited by wrongful-conviction advocates who argue Texas' death-penalty system is severely flawed.

The New York-based Innocence Project, which has argued Willingham's case after his death, says the parole board's decision "illustrates that the clemency system is completely broken in Texas."