Separating Science from Speculation: Successfully Defending Your Arson Case

Location: Nautilus 1
Date: Fri, March 24
Time: 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM

In over half of the 41 arson exonerations since 1991, no crime of arson had ever actually occurred.  In this session, Arson Research Project Director Paul Bieber will cover the "six problematic methodologies" in arson investigation that most frequently lead to a fire being wrongfully classified as incendiary.  California Innocence Project staff attorney Raquel Cohen and Kentucky public defender Krista Dolan will highlight two recent arson cases where investigators employed these six methodologies, resulting in wrongful arson convictions. Together, these cases will be used to guide participants in finding the most effective way to attack the methodologies at both the trial and post-trial level. Participants will be provided with strategies and resources for organizing and defending their arson cases. The session will extensively cover the NFPA 921, including discussion of overcoming apparent contradictions within the treatise, and participants will be provided a handout with relevant NFPA 921 sections.

201: Intermediate

Defending Your Arson Case

Defending Your Arson Case Handouts