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Wrongful Convictions

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Wrongful Convictions


In 2009, the Observer’s Dave Mann wrote a four-part series investigating flawed arson cases in Texas. Dave found compelling evidence that three men had been wrongly convicted based on junk science that mistook accidental fires for arson. Dave later investigated alleged wrongful convictions based on flawed blood spatter and hair follicle evidence. You can also read on this page Dave’s coverage of Texas’ investigation into the infamous Cameron Todd Willingham case. Willingham was executed in 2004 on arson evidence that has since been debunked.


Observer Radio Episode 70: An Exonerated Man’s Search for Closure

In February, Chris Scott confronted the man whose crime put him in prison.

The Arson Files: After Serving 25 Years, Ed Graf May Finally Receive New Trial

Ed Graf had waited 25 years for a chance to prove his innocence, and late last week, he finally got it.

DNA Tests Undermine Evidence in Texas Execution

New results show Claude Jones was put to death on flawed evidence.

A Bloody Injustice

Warren Horinek was a vicious drunk with a history of threatening his wife. But his conviction for murdering her was based on junk science–like thousands of others.

Fire and Innocence

Flawed arson evidence may have sent hundreds of innocent people to prison.

“I Was Just A Junkie”

Is Alfredo Guardiola in prison for a crime he didn’t commit?

Victim of Circumstance?

Ed Graf was sentenced to life for burning his two young stepsons alive. Two decades later, science may exonerate him.

Burn Patterns

Curtis Severns is serving 27 years for an arson he almost certainly didn’t commit. Sloppy fire science put him there.