Texas Moratorium Network shot this video of Todd Willingham's cousin Patricia Willingham Cox speaking at the meeting of the Texas Forensic Science Commission in Houston on July 23, 2010.
Todd Willingham's cousin Patricia Cox speaks at the meeting of the Texas Forensic Science Commission in Houston on July 23, 2010.
Todd's stepmother Eugenia Willingham is sitting beside Patricia while she speaks. Normally, when a family member speaks at a hearing, for instance at a committee hearing at the Legislature, the person chairing the hearing is very nice and thanks the person for coming and maybe even offers some words of comfort to them if they start crying and says something like they know how difficult it is to speak in public at a hearing like this. I have seen that happen a lot at the Legislature, but John Bradley has absolutely no social skills or empathy, so he didn't say anything.
A commission reviewing a disputed arson finding that led to a Corsicana man's 2004 execution for the deaths of his three young children said in a preliminary report Friday that the fire investigators used flawed science but didn't commit negligence or misconduct.
Patricia Cox, Todd Willingham's cousin, told commission members that she appreciated the group's acknowledgment that the forensic evidence used to convict her loved one was flawed.
"Even though there may not have been any malice or intent by fire investigators about not being informed on current standards, that doesn't excuse the fact that, based on this misinformation, Cameron Todd Willingham was executed, and that can't be corrected," said a tearful Cox.
Willingham's stepmother, Eugenia Willingham, was too upset to speak during the meeting's public comment section. But during a break, she said she couldn't believe the panel's conclusion and vowed to continue fighting for her stepson's exoneration.
Both Cox and Eugenia Willingham came from their hometown of Ardmore, Okla., to attend the meeting. Two other women at the meeting held signs with photographs of Willingham that read: "No More Cover Up! Todd: Innocent and Executed!" and "Put Todd Willingham on the Agenda."