Several states are introducing measures today to ensure that fire investigations are based on solid science, and the issue will be discussed at a major forum this evening in Washington, D.C.
Tonight’s forum, at the Georgetown University Law Center, features two of the nation’s leading fire investigation experts and Innocence Project Policy Director Stephen Saloom. The event will be moderated by Reason Magazine editor Radley Balko and
streamed live on the web
. It will also be archived online for future viewing. The risk of wrongful convictions in arson cases has become prominent in part because of growing concerns about the case of
Cameron Todd Willingham
, who was executed in Texas in 2004 for allegedly setting a fire at his home that killed his young children. Willingham was convicted in 1992 based largely on the testimony of fire investigators who relied on forensic techniques that have been widely discredited.
In an effort to ensure that arson cases are based on solid science, lawmakers in Arizona, Nebraska and Oklahoma are introducing resolutions today clarifying that a science-based guide issued by the National Fire Protection Agency be used as the minimum standard for fire investigations.
Read more about tonight’s event and state efforts to improve arson investigation