Thursday, June 14, 2012

David Gavitt: Commentator says it's high time for a comprehensive, national review of all U.S. arson convictions.

COMMENTARY: "David Lee Gavitt released after almost 27 years in prison due to arson mythology," by Christine Funk, published by on June 6, 2012. (Christine Funk has been a criminal defense attorney since 1994. She was assigned her first forensic DNA case in 1995. Not a scientist by training, she struggled to understand the scientific method generally and the science behind DNA evidence specifically).

GIST: "David Lee Gavitt was released from prison shortly after noon on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 after nearly 27 years in state custody. Attorney Michael McKenzie, who consulted with the Innocence Clinic on the case, said, ". . . there are many other people just like him who should never have been convicted." Last week, James Kluppelberg walked out of an Illinois state prison after serving 24 years for an arson that wasn't. This week, David Lee Gavitt left the Michigan prison system, which has been his home for more years than he spent living in free society. They can't possibly be the last two men incarcerated for arson fires based on bad science. We can't make up for the more than 50 years they have lost. But we can do something. It's time for a comprehensive, national review of all arson convictions. It's definitely time."

The entire commentary can be found at:


I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

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:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.