Monday, July 2, 2012

Daniel Dougherty; (Phil); New trial sought in deadly 1985 fire. Original scientific evidence and quality of representation under attack;

STORY: "Defence requests new trial in deadly arson case," by reporter Tom Waring, published in the Northeast Times Star on June 20, 2012.

GIST: "The Dougherty case has been in court numerous times since that verdict and sentence. His current defense team has questioned the effectiveness of his trial lawyer, the now- deceased Thomas Q. Ciccone Jr., for failing to hire a fire investigation expert. In February, the district attorney’s office agreed to overturn his death sentence in favor of life without parole. At a two-day court hearing in March, fire experts John Lentini and Angelo Pisani testified for the defense that there was no basis for declaring the blaze an arson. They cited burn patterns that were connected, not distinct, an indication that the blaze could have been an accident. Common Pleas Court Judge Steven R. Geroff ordered written briefs and set oral arguments for June 13. Defense attorney David S. Fryman said advances in fire science led Lentini and Pisani to declare the cause of the fire to be “undetermined.” “Mr. Quinn’s theory has no scientific basis,” he said of then-Fire Marshal John Quinn. Fryman told Geroff that Lentini and Pisani could have impeached Quinn’s testimony and swayed at least one juror, had they been hired for the original trial. He said Dougherty has suffered an injustice and a constitutional violation for 12 years."

The entire story 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.