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The Fiery Truth

by Published on

The Dallas Morning News ran a front-page story yesterday about faulty arson cases in Texas.

Reporter Christy Hoppe highlights five Texans who were seemingly wrongly convicted, including the now-infamous Cameron Todd Willingham.

Hoppe also discusses Curtis Severns and Ed Graf — cases recently featured in the Observer as part of our ongoing investigative series into faulty arson convictions in Texas. (The third story in our series will be published the first week in October.)

Grits has more on this.

Three of the defendants Hoppe features are still in prison: Severns, Graf and Butch Martin, who’s serving a life sentence for starting a fatal fire in Midland.

As I’ve written in this space before, I hope the national controversy sparked by the Willingham case will garner more attention for the many wrongly convicted people still serving prison sentences. Hoppe’s piece is an excellent step in that direction.

Dave Mann has been with the Observer since 2003. Before that, he worked as a reporter in Fort Worth and Washington, D.C. He was born and raised in Philadelphia. He thinks border collies are the world’s greatest dogs, and believes in the nourishing powers of pickup basketball.