Three Arson Convictions Reversed in Brooklyn

A Brooklyn judge granted motions filed by Adele Bernhard, the director of the Post-Conviction Innocence Clinic at the New York Law School, to reverse convictions of two men who spent over 30 years in prison, and a third who died in prison.  The convictions were reversed based on a debunking of the arson evidence in the cases.  “We were made aware of an evolution, perhaps even a revolution, in the study of fire science,” said the chief of the conviction review unit at the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.  Fire expert John Lentini concluded there was no evidence that the fire was intentionally set. Lentini adds, “the science of fire dynamics was poorly understood in 1980, and much of what was believed by well-meaning investigators was, unfortunately, false.”

Published by BGarrett

Professor of Law, Duke University

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