Texas Fire Review Panel Flags Work in 2 Cases

By NOMAAN MERCHANT | June 28, 2013

A state-sponsored panel of fire experts says it’s identified two arson-related cases in which the defendants were convicted using faulty fire science.

The panel convened by the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office released its findings Wednesday.

State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy says the panel flagged two cases: the conviction of Ed Graf, a Waco-area man found guilty of killing his two stepsons in a 1986 fire; and the conviction of Douglas Victor Boyington, sentenced to 75 years in prison in 1989 for setting fire to a Houston-area apartment building.

In both cases, the panel said investigators “failed to meet the present-day scientific standards of care.”

Separately, it affirmed a third investigation, on a 2002 murder conviction.

Criminal justice advocates in Texas have questioned the use of fire science.

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