Arson science questioned in two convictions | Richmond Times-Dispatch
“New scientific advancements over the past 10 years of modeling toxic gas generation, window breakage, and smoke alarm activation all provide further support for the conclusion that this was not an intentionally started incendiary fire.”
Understandably, it was upsetting to Mike Ledford’s mother to learn from me that ASID accredited interior designers are required to know much more about the flammability of furniture than fire investigators.
There should be limits on what police are allowed to lie to suspects about in the course of interrogations, and lie detector tests should be on the forbidden list … Mike passed the lie detector test; he was told he hadn’t. Investigators ought to be barred, too, from telling suspects that all they have to do go home is to confess, especially grief-stricken suspects that have just tragically lost a family member.
Candles don’t have fuses that resists air currents and being upset. They have thin wicks. Lay one on its side, and you’ll likely get a puddle of wax, not a fire. Drop one, and it’ll likely go out. I just did both experiments, and the results were a) puddle of wax, b) self-estinquishment.
It is incredible to me, after so many exonerations (DNA and otherwise) that prosecutors continue to boldly cite the judgement of juries as an indicator of an expert’s credibility. John Lentini’s credentials are a mile longer than most fire inspectors, years on the job mean nothing if those years on the job were spent deploying what you learned 10, 20 or 30 years ago when you accepted the job, not what the latest technology on fire science has revealed.
As the ones who pay firemen, police, prosecutors and judge’s wages, jurors have the realistic expectation that they will not be spoon-fed bullshit by prosecutors and their experts under the knowing eye of a wayward judge … an expectation that is seldom fulfilled.
Until fire inspectors are required to know at least as much as ASID accredited interior designers about household fires, jurors best wake up and start heeding the credentials of defense fire experts, when superior.
Note that 30% of those first 70 exonerations involved misconduct. There’s an explanation: After correcting their unconstitutional craziness on separate but equal facilities, the US Supreme court created more unconstitutional craziness in the late 1970’s in granting prosecutors and their supervisors absolute immunity for misconduct.
Separate but equal justice has proven as deadly and dangerous as separate but equal facilities, and that elitist, unconstitutional immunity – and its rampant abuse – is what jurors should hold first and foremost in their minds when they accept the responsibility to decide guilt or innocence.
It’s time for prosecutorial and supervisory misconduct to become illegal again. Mike Ledford and thousands of other innocents are inside prison, and those that knowingly used incredible experts to put them there are not. Call or email your US Senators and Representative … tell them you want them to legislatively override the Supreme Court’s crazy separate but equal justice – retroactively.