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Texas Forensic Science Commission

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Brandi Grissom of the Texas Tribune has this article, also in the NYT, on Dr. Nizam Peerwani, who will now chair the Texas Forensic Science Commission.

Dr. Peerwani said he agreed with experts who testified before the board that the arson science used to convict Mr. Willingham was seriously flawed. But when asked whether Mr. Willingham was guilty or innocent, he was less definitive.

"There were other issues," Dr. Peerwani said of what led to Mr. Willingham's conviction. "There were eyewitness accounts; there were hospital and doctor testimony given and investigative findings."

The latter point is a good one to see in the NYT, even buried far down the story.  A finding that the forensic evidence originally claimed to show arson was "flawed" is not the same thing as a finding that the forensic evidence disproves arson, as Willingham's advocates so often claim.  If the forensic evidence tells us little or nothing either way, then we look to the other evidence cited by Dr. Peerwani, which continues to show guilt.

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