Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bulletin: William Haughey: Connecticut; Outdated arson 'science; Major Development; After serving eight years in prison for setting a fire in a restaurant he has been exonerated after prosecutors agreed there wasn't enough proof he had done anything wrong or that the fire had even been deliberately set..."He also reached out to the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice. "It was a breath of fresh air how (Tendy) responded, really being an administer of justice as a District Attorney should be," said Deskovic, who formed the foundation after his own exoneration. He was freed in 2006 after serving nearly 16 years in prison for the rape and murder of a Peekskill High School classmate when new DNA testiing identified the real killer. The new probe into the Smalley Inn fire determined that the findings of the original fire investigator, Robert Geoghegan, were "fundamentally flawed." Lohud.


"A Connecticut man who spent eight years in prison for setting a fire in a Carmel restaurant has been exonerated after Putnam prosecutors agreed there wasn't enough proof he had done anything wrong or that the fire had even been deliberately set. A federal judge on Monday threw out the arson conviction of 44-year-old William Haughey. A Putnam County jury in 2008 had found Haughey guilty of setting the March 10, 2007 fire at Smalley’s Inn. Haughey was initially freed on bail May 9 after Putnam District Attorney Robert Tendy told a magistrate judge that his office was supportive of Haughey's bid for freedom. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Vincent Bricetti vacated the conviction and sentence and ordered Haughey's unconditional release, finding he was actually innocent......Tendy said he initially got involved while running for district attorney last year when Haughey wrote to him. He became convinced of Haughey's innocence and said he would review the case if elected. "I don't think it was anything egregious, I think it was just a series of ... unfortunate events that wound up with Mr. Haughey convicted," Tendy said. Haughey’s state appellate efforts — centering on insufficient evidence and ineffectiveness of counsel — had all failed. He filed a federal motion to overturn the conviction in 2013.  He also reached out to the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice. "It was a breath of fresh air how (Tendy) responded, really being an administer of justice as a District Attorney should be," said Deskovic, who formed the foundation after his own exoneration. He was freed in 2006 after serving nearly 16 years in prison for the rape and murder of a Peekskill High School classmate when new DNA testing identified the real killer. The new probe into the Smalley Inn fire determined that the findings of the original fire investigator, Robert Geoghegan, were "fundamentally flawed." Geoghegan testified at the trial that the fire was "incendiary in origin" and not caused by an electrical problem. But according to Tendy's office, Geoghegan could not adequately rule out unintentional causes because he limited his investigation to the area around the bathroom. He also never inspected the area around an electrical smoke-eater, even though witnesses had observed smoke and flames in a vent that went to the smoke-eater..........The original defense lawyer, Edward McCormack, was also faulted for not hiring his own fire investigator to counter Geoghegan's contentions."
http://www.lohud.com/story/news/2016/05/24/2008-putnam-arson-conviction-tossed/84860494/


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