Do you ever get tired of hearing Michael Shermer and clones drone about science as a source of truth?
Well, then, you’ll make some sense of this:
This month — nearly 25 years after the blaze — a federal magistrate recommended that Lee should either be given a new trial or released from prison outright. A federal judge must approve the recommendation, and prosecutors are expected to file papers this week arguing that Lee’s conviction should stand.
His case is one of dozens around the U.S. to come under scrutiny because of entrenched but now-discredited beliefs about how arson can be detected. The Arson Research Project at the Monterey College of Law in California has highlighted at least 31 convictions based at least partly on debunked fire investigations, including that of a Texas man executed in 2004, and experts believe there are many more.
“There was just no science behind” the old assumptions about arson, said Paul Cates of The Innocence Project, a group that works to overturn wrongful convictions, primarily through the use of DNA. “A lot of this was just guesswork and voodoo.”
Lee, now 79, has consistently maintained his innocence.
“Science,” as in pop science mags, is often just “voodoo” spelled a different way.
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