Cameron Todd Willingham in his cell on death row, in 1994. He insisted upon his innocence in the deaths of his children and refused an offer to plead guilty in return for a life sentence. © Ken Light.

Read the The New Yorker‘s article Trial by Fire about Cameron Todd Willingham, which asks, “Did Texas Execute an Innocent Man?”

Ken Light photographed Willingham fifteen years ago in his death row cell.

Willingham was accused of setting his house alight while his three children slept inside, tried for arson and murder, found guilty and sentenced to death. He always professed his innocence. Willingham was executed on February 17th, 2004. Before and since his execution, evidence supporting his conviction has been brought into question. Eye-witness testimonies conflicted and the fire forensics for the case are considered unreliable.

Recently, I spoke with Ken Light about his Texas Death Row.

The New Yorker only had one photographer to turn to for an image of the incarcerated Willingham. Without Texas Death Row (1994), we would have precious little photographic record of the lives and experiences of Texas’ institutions for the condemned.