Friday, September 17, 2010

Forensic Science Commission wants to hear from arson experts, rebuffs Bradley

I just rolled back into Austin this afternoon, still a little jet lagged, to find that the Todd Willingham saga at the Texas Forensic Science Commission has continued to heat up in my absence. Chairman and Williamson County DA John Bradley was snubbed by his fellow commission members, who insisted on hearing from experts hired by the state before rejecting their conclusions out of hand in a draft prepared by Bradley and commission staff.

Rodger Jones at the Dallas News has a story titled, "Bradley loses, forensic panel will call experts," which sums up today's meeting well. Jeff Carlton at AP writes that "The commission is balking at approving a report that says investigators weren't at fault in determining that arson was responsible for a 1991 house fire that killed three girls in Corsicana." Chuck Lindell at the Austin Statesman reported earlier that Bradley was the only commissioner who edited the draft prepared by staff member Leigh Tomlin (which would have exonerated Corsicana arson investigators) before the full commission today chose to seek more input. The Houston Chronicle rightly today editorialized that the FSC's credibility is at stake if they appear to ignore expert testimony in the case.

MORE: From Kuff: Fire Marshal clings to Willingham arson report. See also Gamso for the Defense and the Waco Criminal Law Blog.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

And with good news to report.

Texas Maverick said...

I'm so glad you had a great time, but I have been in withdrawal and am so glad I never drank if this is what it's like. Ana & Jeff did a great job, but you cannot be replaced.

It's been good to read in the news that the commission is still trying to do their job and thanks for your updates. Maybe there is hope. We do have some good folks at work and you help keep us on track. Thanks to your wife for sharing you with us.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that some folks still have the nuts to buck the bad guy. I applaud them.

Anonymous said...

FFS! They brought up the same points and asked the same questions as the last meeting.

How about a little forward thinking when organizing these meetings. Have a list of questions, all the documents, and the expert witnesses in front of the and in-person for questions. Or, at the very least, arrange for teleconferencing.

It's not that difficult.