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Presidential bid, new documentary put Texas execution record back on national radar

Excerpt

The following is from the September 19, 2011, edition of The 33 News. Rick Halperin, director of SMU's Human Rights Program, provided expertise for this story.

September 24, 2011

Dawn Tongish
The 33 News

DALLAS, TX— He has become the face of the anti-death penalty rally. Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Texas after being convicted for setting a fire that killed his three young girls near Corsicana in 2005.

A new "Incendiary" tells the story of Willingham and the debate surrounding his guilt or innocence. The movie, set to be released this week, is again putting the Texas execution chamber back in the national spotlight.

"This system has a lot of problems," SMU human rights activist, Rick Halperin said.

Halperin says Hollywood's focus on the death penalty is spotlighting the system that he says is full of flaws.

"Texas cases just continually come before the US Supreme Court. It is the norm and that should signal something."

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