News 02.02.12

Science Thursday

New medical evidence challenges a Texas murder conviction,  doubts about an arson conviction may lead to a reversal. and analysts from the Arkansas State Crime Lab may not be testifying as much as their travel suggests. Here’s a roundup of this week’s forensics news:

 

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

vacated Ernie Lopez’ 2003 conviction

of the sexual assault and death of a baby. Lopez’ case is one of a growing number of child death cases in which medical evidence has been called into question post-conviction. The prosecution must decide whether to release Lopez or retry the case.

 

A federal magistrate is expected to rule on whether the triple murder arson convictions of George Souliotes were

based on faulty arson evidence

. Souliotes is represented by the Northern California Innocence Project.

 

The Ohio state parole board

unanimously rejected a death row inmate’s plea

for mercy based on recent developments in arson science that suggest he may have been wrongly convicted.

 

Analysts from the Arkansas State Crime Lab

logged more than 1,000 hours

and 31,000 miles last year for court appearances at which they never testified.

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