June 25, 2014

WHEN SCIENCE BECOMES UNSETTLED: Judge: Bad science led to murder-by-arson sentence. So this guy was in jail for over two decades because self-assured experts turned out not to know what they were talking about. “His case is one of dozens around the U.S. to come under scrutiny because of entrenched but now-discredited beliefs about how arson can be detected. The Arson Research Project at the Monterey College of Law in California has highlighted at least 31 convictions based at least partly on debunked fire investigations, including that of a Texas man executed in 2004, and experts believe there are many more. . . . ‘A lot of this was just guesswork and voodoo.’”