Saturday, July 6, 2013

George Souliotes: California; antiquated arson "science" case: Modesto Bee calls it an "unsatisfactory conclusion" for several reasons, let alone that a man now free served 16 years for crimes that he no longer stands convicted of.

EDITORIAL:  "Our view: Unsatisfactory conclusion of Souliotes saga," published by the Modest o Bee on July 4, 2013.

GIST:  "After a winding legal battle, including appeals that upheld his original arson and murder convictions, a federal judge changed the narrative entirely this spring. The judge ruled that tactical errors in Souliotes' defense prevented his client from being adequately represented in the second of two trials in 2000 (the first ended in mistrial the year before). To garner his freedom, Souliotes pleaded no contest to three counts of involuntary manslaughter for not having smoke detectors in his rental home. This plea agreement reflects a dramatic reduction from the original charges of murder and arson. Cited by his defense attorney as a key in this victory, and as the factor that the district attorney's office said "gutted" its case, a Stanislaus County judge excluded the testimony of an eyewitness in the planned trial, as well as excluding the fire science introduced at the original trial 13 years ago. This is not an outcome to celebrate. Souliotes, while now free, served 16 years for crimes that he no longer stands convicted of. The people of Stanislaus County never got the definitive answer they might have gotten from a new trial, whether it resulted in conviction or acquittal. And Michelle Jones and her children, Daniel and Amanda, are still gone, their lives taken in an inferno on that cold January morning. "

The entire editorial:


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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:

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Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.

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