Thursday, December 3, 2009

A sickening travesty

The Cameron Todd Willingham case just won't go away quite yet.  I found an article yesterday from the AP in which the reporter spoke to four jurors from the original trial.  Not surprisingly, those jurors don't want to re-examine their verdict.  They stand by their votes of guilty.  Fine, they don't want to face the possibility that they contributed to the death of a man for an accidental fire.  They're now focusing on things not related to the fire itself, but things like Willingham not acting the way they think he should and the fact that he moved his car during the fire (umm, maybe because it was really close to the house and was filled with gasoline that could explode, making the situation even worse and maybe because he couldn't get back into the house so he could feel like he was doing something?).  But, whatever, I can live with their head-in-the-sand attitude towards the new scientific evidence because I wouldn't want to have to question my vote to kill someone, either.

But in this article, my favoritest defense attorney also makes a new appearance.  You all remember just what I think of Willingham's attorney, David Martin, don't you?  Evidently, David Martin has no interest in improving my opinion of him.  Quite the contrary, in fact.  This guy just can't shut up about how awful he thinks it is that we're all questioning whether Willingham should have been executed.  According to the AP writer, it "sickens" him.

David Martin never spares a thought for his client, but he does think about those poor babies.  He thinks Willingham was guilty and got exactly what he deserved.  He thinks it's a "travesty" that we're trying to make this case something other than what it is.

No, the real travesty here is that Todd Willingham was forced to trust his life to this clown of a lawyer who thought he deserved death.  The travesty is that this schmuck got paid for his "efforts" to defend a guy he thinks is so obviously guilty and for whom he now spares no thought.  It's a travesty that the trial court and appellate courts involved in Willingham's case allowed him to be executed even though his defense attorney served only to endorse the state's theory of the case and supported the state's sentence.  I would also call it a travesty if any other criminal defendants are being given this guy as their state-appointed defense attorney.  I will think it a travesty if the Texas attorney disciplinary authority doesn't have something to say to this loser.  Basically, I think David Martin is one giant travesty.

David Martin sickens me.  He is an embarrassment to the profession I hold so dear.  And every time he opens his stupid trap, he convinces me even more that Todd Willingham did not get anything approaching a fair trial.  With an advocate like David Martin by his side, he didn't even need a prosecutor.


dudleysharp said...

Media Meltdown: Nonsense, Trial by Fire and the New Yorker

Cameron Todd Willingham: Some reality needs to be acknowledged

"The Innocent Executed: Deception & Death Penalty Opponents"

The 130 (now 139) death row "innocents" scam

S said...

A very off-topic and pointless list of links, Dudley. Please know that I will not tolerate that sort of comment in the future. If you have something to say, you are welcome to say it, but lists of links are not your own thoughts. And do please try to understand the subject of the post before commenting.

This post is not about the death penalty. It isn't even about whether Mr. Willingham should have been convicted or executed. It's about the lack of ethics demonstrated by his trial attorney. I don't expect you to understand the difference as you are legendary across the internet for taking any tangential opportunity to rant in favor of the death penalty. Nuance is completely lost on you.

dudleysharp said...

Your entire article was about the Willingham case.

Each link is my own specific thoughts on the specific topic and the topic of innocence in general.

There is no ethical prohibition against an attorney voicing their opinion on a case.

There is no evidence that the attorney violated attorney client privalige, ever.

If there was he would loose his license. He won't because he didn't.

I post on your blog, only at your discretion and I thank you for the opportunity.

S said...

No, my post was about David Martin, not the Willingham case.

And, yes, there are ethical rules against attorneys voicing their opinions about cases. It's what we call the continuing duty of loyalty. In my state, his words about Willingham would earn him sanctions.

And, yes, there is evidence of Martin violating the attorney-client privilege. He commented publicly about "experiments" he ran and experts he consulted with. That information was all privileged and it was an ethical breach for him to reveal it.

I am confident that the Texas disciplinary authority has received complaints about his behavior, but it will take quite some time before they get around to taking his license, if that's where this goes.

dudleysharp said...


Your first paragraph was about the whole case.

The 4 jurors know what the forensics reports actualy mean and they also know everything that happened at trial,that is why they still believe Willingham to be guilty.

S said...

The first paragraph was background for the real point, to which the title of the post refers: David Martin is a terrible defense attorney and it's a travesty that he's allowed to represent defendants in court.

I will not get sucked into "debating" the merits of the Willingham case with you. There is no point as you are not interested in anything but the internet equivalent of hearing the sound of your own voice. (I have encountered you on many, many other websites and I, frankly, just gloss over your repetitious, simple-minded posts.)

dudleysharp said...

I encourage you to read the trial transcrip and the police witness interview statements.

That additonal information will help you understand why the jurors still believe the way that they do.

Thank, again.

S said...

I'm far more well-read on the case than you assume. Nothing you have ever added anywhere has changed my mind at all that the conviction was based on junk science. I have no opinion one way or the other on whether the fire truly was arson.

And whether it was arson or not is irrelevant to the point that David Martin is a horrible defense attorney who deserves, in my view, to be disbarred for his traitorous comments about a former client. You just don't get to talk about your clients the way he has.

dudleysharp said...


If your well versed includes reading the trial trnscripts and police witness interviews then you would understand why the jurors support Willingham's guilt.

Have you read those?

Regarding the junk science, you really need to wait for the full CFD reply as well as the Texas Fire Marshall's replies.

Those have not been released.

As I have stated from the bginning, conclusions are best served by patient, thorough review.

S said...

I will not allow my blog to be used by you as a forum for more spewing of your nonsense. Any further comments by you on this topic will be deleted. You are nothing but an obstructionist as you would have us engage in such patient, thorough review that we would never reach any conclusion.

I will say this to you one last time (I've tried it on blog after blog and never gotten through, so it's really more for the sake of the rest of my readers): My view of the case is that the initial incorrect investigative assumptions tainted everything thereafter. Relying on the trial transcripts is, therefore, following down that wrong path. Oh, and I'm not likely to be convinced by the "he had an Iron Maiden poster so he must have killed his kids" line of argument put forth by the prosecutor at trial.

Now, since this is my blog, I do get the last word. Do not bother trying to respond to this because it will be deleted.

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