The Willingham Case Has Disappeared

Dave Mann

The Texas Forensic Science Commission—now under new management—will meet on Jan. 29 in Harlingen. It will be the commission’s first meeting since that unpleasantness last fall when Gov. Rick Perry axed three commissioners just before a key hearing on the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, a likely innocent man executed in 2004 (read about the case here).

The Willingham case isn’t on the commission’s agenda for this meeting. Commissioners will discuss mostly organizational and administrative issues, according to the agenda. (Hat tip to the Texas Moratorium Network blog, which first posted the meeting agenda.)

That means the commission won’t take up the Willingham case before the March gubernatorial primary. That’s not a huge shock. In fact, that seemed the whole point of Perry’s moves—slow-walk the commission’s investigation of Willingham until after the election(s).

Still, I’m a little surprised the Willingham case has been such a non-issue in the governor’s race. No one bothered to ask Perry about it at last week’s Republican gubernatorial debate.

There’s still one more debate to come before the primary. Will one of the questioners raise the Willingham scandal?

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Dave Mann is a former editor of the Observer.