The State Bar of Texas filed an accusation of misconduct against the county prosecutor who won the conviction of Cameron Todd Willingham, a Texas man executed in 2004 for the arson murder of his three young daughters, The Marshall Project reports. After a preliminary inquiry that began last summer, the bar filed a disciplinary petition in Navarro County District Court on March 5 accusing the former prosecutor, John H. Jackson, of obstruction of justice, making false statements and concealing evidence favorable to Willingham’s defense.
“Before, during, and after the 1992 trial, [Jackson] knew of the existence of evidence that tended to negate the guilt of Willingham and failed to disclose that evidence to defense counsel,” the bar investigators charged. The bar action accuses Jackson of intervening repeatedly to help a jailhouse informant, Johnny Webb, in return for his testimony that Willingham confessed the murders to him while they were both jailed in Corsicana, the Navarro county seat. Jackson’s attorney, Joseph Byrne, took issue with the grievance filed against his client by the Innocence Project, a legal advocacy group. “I disagree with much of the information that was put together by the Innocence Project and do not find it to be objective,” Byrne said.