Innocent Man Off Death Row
Ernest Ray Willis exonerated after 18 years behind bars
This summer, U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson tossed Willis' conviction, citing the needless drugging and the prosecution's suppression of a psychologist's finding that Willis was not a dangerous person a key determination needed for the imposition of the death penalty. Further, Pecos Co. District Attorney Ori T. White now says the fire that killed the two women was probably not arson at all; rather, he said, it was likely caused by an electrical problem a broken ceiling fan or faulty outlet. "He simply did not do the crime," White told the Associated Press. "I'm sorry this man was on death row for so long and that there were so many lost years."
Willis joins seven other former death row inmates including Randall Dale Adams and Clarence Brandley who have been exonerated in Texas since 1974.