Trial by Fire Review
This film was absolutely horrible to watch but that’s the whole point of it, and it’s made so much worse when you find out it’s a true story.
Todd Willingham was sentenced to death after the arson attack and death of his three daughters in their home in 1991 while under his care. During his time on death row he met a woman called Elizabeth who investigated the trial and conviction and believed that he was an innocent man.
As his execution date drew closer Elizabeth did all she could to try and compile evidence and witnesses to prove that the testimonies and the evidence that were given at his first trial were coerced and not entirely truthful, and unfortunately it seems that they were able to find evidence that did not support the guilty verdict, but in the end it all came along too late.
This movie is a really hard watch but very poignant. Todd was a man from a lower income household who didn’t have the best relationship with his girlfriend or their three children, especially as bringing up children in such a poverty stricken area can’t have been easy for anyone.
Todd was almost the perfect specimen to be used by the prosecution and the police. Once he was on death row there was hardly a chance he would ever get off of it because as it said in the movie ‘death-row was a place for people like him’. It’s such a shame that a man who could have been innocent and his only guilt was not saving his children has now died because people didn’t step forward.
This is the reason I don’t believe in the death-penalty and I’m glad we don’t have it in the UK. In the court of law it’s one person’s word against another and unless you have concrete evidence to place that person at the scene of the crime how can you be so sure that they did it? I don’t think anyone deserves to have the ability to choose whether a person lives or dies, whether that be a murderer or the state. Todd is just one example of a man who could’ve possibly been sent down too quickly without the evidence coming to light and he is just one of many people who did not deserve to die and should’ve been given a fairer trial.
This is not a movie to watch if you’re in a bad mood or if you’re already upset, it’s very hard-hitting and as the movie progresses things just seem to get worse and worse and you really start feeling for this guy. The only saving grace we have is knowing that he is now with his daughters at peace and his ashes were put on their grave. But to think a man’s life was cut short because a few police officers might of decided that they didn’t like him is just wrong, and it’s horrific to live in a society where the people in charge of protecting us are so corrupt.
What do you think of the death penalty?
Until next time.