News 01.09.12

Texas to Embark on Statewide Arson Inquiry?

(Pictured: Cameron Todd Willingham’s home after the 1991 fire that killed his three children)

At the insistence of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, the State Fire Marshal Office has joined forces with the Innocence Project of Texas to determine whether the state has wrongfully convicted people for arson-murders based on outdated science.

The review comes in the wake of the Cameron Todd Willingham arson case which left forensic scientists among others, calling for the  re-examination of arson-murder cases in which evidence could have been analyzed by outdated or questionable scientific methods.

Since the Fire Marshal’s office is still evaluating the commission’s recommendations to adopt new procedures to review arson evidence, skeptics are unsure if the review will really happen, reported the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

In a case similar to Willingham, a Midland resident was convicted of starting the fire that resulted in the death of his common-law wife and their baby. And like Willingham’s case, there are scientists who believe he may have been convicted based at least in part of outdated science.

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