Essay On Todd Willingham's Innocence

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I chose to answer the question “Did Texas execute an innocent man?” Todd Willingham may have had a grim personality but he was still innocent of the alleged fire tha the had been accused for. He was put on trial for starting a fire and killing his three children--not for being a ghastly husband and a thug. The firefighters tried to imitate radiologists by coming with the conclusion that the fire started on the floor and that arson was poured in order to excite it. Given the time period, it is understandable that they could find closure so quickly given that arson had just recently been discovered and not much had been known about it. But even that doesn’t excuse how the court refused to take into account Hurst’s testimony that the fire was caused by some other means. Hurst had already proven, using logos, that Willingham was innocent because there was no arson at the scene of the “crime” but there were several electrical shortages that caused a flashover fire. To answer the question of how Willingham escaped with no severe burns, Hurst explained that the floor would be cool until the flashover (plenty of time for Willingham to escape unscathed). …show more content…
It is not surprising that their objectivity would be clouded by their own personal biases against him. He was known to physically abuse his wife, commit crimes, and take drugs. Such a background seemed to even convince the police that he was the one who started the fire without any specific evidence besides the assertion that there was arson involved (which was also later disproved by Hurst). All of these people relied on pathos by appealing to the audience’s emotions into believing that Willingham was a horrible person and ethos by defaming his credibility by including his sketchy

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