Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ed Graf: Texas; "Arson science" case. Dallas News lays its cards on the table and calls the prosecution against him "a junk-science case that bears watching for all of Texas."

EDITORIAL: "Cards on table in Graf case," published by the Dallas News on February 20, 2014.

GIST: "We hope the judge in the case asks for an answer today in a hearing on Graf’s double-jeopardy claim, in a junk-science case that bears watching for all of Texas..........Last March, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals concluded that “false expert testimony” helped put Graf away for life and that he was due a new trial. A consulting fire scientist said the original investigators showed little understanding of how arson fires burn. Later, a panel of experts convened by Texas State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy found that modern science could not support the arson finding made by one of the state’s own investigators in the Graf case. The fire’s origin, the experts said, should be reclassified as undetermined. That’s a double whammy that would seem to strip prosecutors of their case, yet District Attorney Abel Reyna insists they have enough for a retrial and got bail set high enough — at $1.5 million — to hold Graf in jail for the duration. The case is weirder yet. Graf’s lawyers complain that the original case files are unavailable because they’re lost. Think about that — a murder case with missing files.........The judge in the case, Matt Johnson, ought to bring order to this circus, starting with the matter of the indictment. If the DA intends to pursue an arson-murder case, why not send it back through a grand jury, and exactly which arson expert would be called to testify? As for the bail, something tells us that Graf, 61, would not skip out if bail were lowered, pending the May 19 trial. Graf has been waiting to clear his name for 26 years, and it appears he’s got science on his side now. Chances are he’d want to be in court to see this through."

The entire editorial can be found at:

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