HumanDocs presents film and panel exploring death penalty in Texas arson case
By Janel Shoun on 1/23/2012
Lipscomb University’s spring 2012 HumanDocs Film Series lineup begins Wednesday, Jan. 25, with “Incendiary: The Willingham Case,” a documentary by Steve Mims and Joe Bailey Jr., that documents the flood of questions about forensics reform and the death penalty raised by the 1991 arson case of Todd Willingham. This film shows at 8:30 p.m., Jan. 25, in Ward Hall and is free and open to the public.
“Incendiary” explores the case of a young Texas man executed in February 2004, convicted for the arson murder of his three young daughters in 1991. Texas proceeded with the execution of the man Rick Perry called a “monster,” despite the contention of forensic experts that the arson investigation behind his conviction was fundamentally flawed.
Focusing on Willingham's plight, the feature documentary takes a hard look at the issues underlying the case. Filmmakers raise troubling questions not only about traditional arson investigation -- decried by some as more "folklore" than scientific method -- but the role of forensic science itself in American justice.
“Incendiary” was a selection at both the Silverdocs and the South by Southwest film festivals and was designated as a “Critic’s Pick” by The Washington Post.
HumanDocs is presented by the Lipscomb School of Humanities within the College of Arts and Sciences. The series includes monthly screenings of quality documentaries exploring vital issues of social justice.
A brief panel discussion will follow the documentary. Panelists include:
- Charles Strobel, founding director of Nasvhille’s Room in the Inn program for the homeless
- Stacy Rector, executive director of Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
- Chris Minton, Nashville attorney with extensive experience in death-penalty cases
- David Dark, Lipscomb University faculty and author of The Sacredness of Questioning Everything, will moderate the panel.