Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Han Tak Lee. Pennsylvania; Columbus Dispatch reports that the "arson science" has been discredited in his case - and in many others; “There was just no science behind” the old assumptions about arson", said Paul Cates of the Innocence Project... “A lot of this was just guesswork and voodoo.” (Must Read. HL);

STORY: "Arson science discredited," by reporter Michael Rubinkam, published by the Columbus Dispatch on June 23 2014.

GIST:The arsonist who killed Ji Yun Lee was especially cruel and calculating, dousing her small cabin in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains with more than 60 gallons of gasoline and heating fuel and setting at least eight fires, ending at the front door to block any chance of escape. Then he watched calmly as the cabin turned into an inferno.  "That was the prosecution’s case against the victim’s father, Han Tak Lee, and it persuaded a jury to convict the South Korean immigrant of first-degree murder. He’s serving life without parole. But the arson science underlying his conviction turned out to be all wrong. This month — nearly 25 years after the blaze — a federal magistrate recommended that Lee be given either a new trial or released from prison outright. A federal judge must approve the recommendation. His case is one of dozens across the country 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. “There was just no science behind” the old assumptions about arson, said Paul Cates of the Innocence Project, a group that works to overturn wrongful convictions, primarily through the use of DNA. “A lot of this was just guesswork and voodoo.”
The entire story can be found at:


Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;