Man Freed After Serving 35 years 11 months and 8 days in Prison for An Arson-Murder that Wasn’t

PRESS RELEASE Press Conference on Saturday January 24, 2015 at 1pm at The McShane Firm, LLC 3601 Vartan Way, 1st Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17110 all are welcome. Man Freed After Serving 35 years 11 months and 8 days in Prison for An Arson-Murder that Wasn’t (Harrisburg, PA and Bellefonte, PA)– In July 1979, James Hugney […]

#FreeHugney Update and Response to the DA’s Points

#FreeHugney Update and Response to the DA’s Points   We applaud the First Assistant District Attorney for picking up this case personally. Until the reporters called for comment, he had not been aware of the litigation. In a very short period of time, he was seemingly able to understand some of the basics of the […]

#FreeHugney update

#FreeHugney update As many regular readers of this blog will recall, The McShane Firm has been involved with litigating a case involving a man who so far has served over 35 years and 3 months as a result of a fire that was ruled an arson-murder. Modern fire science has determined that all of the […]

The Burning Bed- Has an Innocent Man Been Locked up for 35 Years for an Arson that Never Happened?

The Burning Bed- Has an Innocent Man Been Locked up for 35 Years for an Arson that Never Happened? In 1978, a 36-year old businessman who owned his own used car lot, and who had no meaningful prior record, was accused of setting fire to his house on purpose with his teenage son inside of […]

Public Comment Period for NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations Begins

As I have stated before when it comes to fire science: There is a lot that one can read at this blog about what is wrong with forensic science, but there are also great efforts to reform and make forensic science better and scientific. As I stated a long time ago when I started this […]

Kudos to Texas State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy

From Grits for Breakfast (which is a wonderful blog): Kudos to Texas State Fire Marshal Chris Connealy for doing the right thing.   Pecos DA challenges state fire marshal review of junk science in arson cases A West Texas DA has sought an Attorney General’s opinion seeking to stop the State Fire Marshal from reviewing […]

Chemical Measurement Process and The Calibration Function: How to best calibrate an instrument used in forensic science

The technical goal of any calibration related effort is t0 achieve a meaningful and valid CMP. According to The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC): Chemical Measurement Process (CMP): An analytical method of defined structure that has been brought into a state of statistical control, such that its imprecision and bias are fixed, […]

Dry-lab get a promotion, become the chief, get discovered, and retire

Life is good for crime laboratory analysts. In the normal course of forensic science events. If you dry-lab, meaning you report out results when in fact you did not perform an analysis, you are efficient in the laboratory. You are someone who gets rewarded typically with a promotion. Heck, they even may make you chief […]

60 minutes and Arizona’s Pioneer Hotel Fire

We have covered arson investigation before on this blog: Fire Whisperers-the Story of Bad Arson Investigation NFPA Releases NFPA 921:2011 and Rejects Negative Corpus Discover Magazine features the dangerous side of arson investigation Guest Blog Post From Dr. Frederic Whitehurst PhD JD: Forensic Science “Matches”-The Case of Black Powder Arson Investigation exonerations If you have […]

Arson Investigation exonerations

We have covered arson investigation before on this blog. Fire Whisperers-the Story of Bad Arson Investigation NFPA Releases NFPA 921:2011 and Rejects Negative Corpus Discover Magazine features the dangerous side of arson investigation Guest Blog Post From Dr. Frederic Whitehurst PhD JD: Forensic Science “Matches”-The Case of Black Powder I wanted to highlight a great […]

Guest Blog Post From Dr. Frederic Whitehurst PhD JD: Forensic Science “Matches”-The Case of Black Powder

Forensic Science “Matches”-The Case of Black Powder By:  Frederic Whitehurst, J.D., Ph.D. [1] While reviewing case opinions in criminal matters involving forensic examinations one is often presented with various adjectives of comparison such as “matches,” “consistent with,” and “identical to.” Counsel seeing these adjectives in forensic reports may be elated if legal theories are supported […]