Friday, August 24, 2012
State fire marshal interview highlights review of arson cases
first reported on Grits last month, the Texas Tribune while I was out of town published an interview with the new state fire marshal, Chris Connealy, describing his enthusiastic embrace of recommendations by the Forensic Science Commission for revamping arson investigations, and the agency's collaboration with my employers at the Innocence Project of Texas to review old arson cases to look for wrongful convictions based on faulty science. Good stuff. I'm enthusiastic about Connealy's new position, not only because he seems personally committed to improving arson investigations, but because it may signal that the Governor, who appointed him, may be willing to back away from some of the extremist, anti-science demagoguery that at times characterized the unhappy debates surrounding the Todd Willingham case.