Blog Archives

Arson Research Project’s Live “Burn” Highlights Common Causes of Faulty Fire Science

It was a dreary morning on Treasure Island on Thursday, August 14th, 2014, as a group of curious public defenders, detectives, and prosecutors came together for arson investigator Paul Bieber’s showcase event: a live burn of two furnished mockups, one

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Posted in Northern California Innocence Project

New Evidence Revealed in Potential Wrongful Execution Case

The Marshall Project, a newly formed nonprofit criminal justice journalism group, wrote a story published in the Washington Post today revealing new evidence of misconduct by a Texas prosecutor that may have led to the wrongful execution of Cameron Todd

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Posted in Northern California Innocence Project

Michigan Man Officially Exonerated After Wrongful Arson Conviction

Victor Caminata, a Michigan man convicted of arson in 2009, was officially exonerated on Wednesday after serving more than four years in prison. Caminata was released in July, but the case wasn’t formally dismissed and Caminata cleared until Judge William

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Posted in Northern California Innocence Project

Founder of Arson Research Project Speaks Out Against “Sloppy” Fire Science

In a recent opinion piece entitled “How ‘Sloppy’ Fire Science Sends Innocents to Prison,” Paul Bieber, founder and director of the Arson Research Project, speaks out against wrongful convictions caused by faulty fire science.  There have been several cases in

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Innocent Man Released From Prison After Spending 42 Years For Arson Conviction

Faulty fire science has contributed to another wrongful conviction. Louis Taylor, who spent 42 years in prison wrongfully convicted of setting a hotel fire in 1970 that killed 29 people in Tucson, Arizona, was released last Tuesday. New methods of

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Indiana Woman Released on Bail Pending New Trial

Kristine Bunch was recently released on $5,000 bail after she was granted a new trial earlier this month. (Read more here.) Bunch was convicted in 1996 of setting a fire that killed her 3-year-old son. However, new fire science suggested

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Indiana Woman Gets New Trial Due to Fire Science Failure

Kristine Bunch will get a new trial in the death of her three-year-old son after the Indiana Supreme Court refused to overturn a lower court decision. Bunch was convicted in 1996 after prosecutors argued that she used kerosene to start

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Posted in Northern California Innocence Project

Innocence Project of Texas Investigating Arson Cases For Junk Science

At the request of the Texas Forensic Science Commission, Jeff Blackburn, chief counsel for the Innocence Project of Texas is examining over one thousand arson cases to weed out any that might be based on the same bad forensic science

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Posted in Northern California Innocence Project

New Fire Science Exonerates Michigan Man

David Lee Gavitt, 54, walked out of prison last week after 26 years in prison. Gavitt was wrongly convicted of the arson murders of his wife and two daughters. Fire investigators suspected the fire was arson due to the burn

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Posted in Northern California Innocence Project

Illinois Man Exonerated of 1984 Arson

 James Kluppelberg, 46, was released from prison Thursday after serving 24 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Kluppelberg was convicted in the 1984 arson deaths of six people after he was connected to the crime by

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Posted in Northern California Innocence Project