Author Archives: Justin D. Kaplan

Judge Holding Documents

New Technology Sets Aside 1988 Arson Double Murder Conviction

Richard Wright was convicted in 1988 of setting a 1986 house fire that killed two teenage girls and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Mr. Wright long maintained his innocence and his initial appeal, based on the credibility of witness who testified that Wright confessed to the crime, was denied in 1995. Mr. Wright ultimately appealed to the New York State Supreme Court after his family hired an attorney who uncovered flaws with the origin and cause investigation conducted by arson investigators…

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Some Fire line do not cross tape

Kentucky Judge Sets Aside Manslaughter Conviction in Deadly Trailer Fire Case After Finding it was Based on Unreliable Forensic Evidence

On December 28, 2016, Logan County Commonwealth Circuit Judge Tyler Gill granted Robert Yell a new trial and vacated his 2006 manslaughter conviction in a case involving a September 11, 2004 mobile home fire that resulted the death of Yell’s 2-year-old son. Although the conviction was upheld on two prior occasions, Yell was successful in contending that forensic evidence admitted at trial to prove that the fire had multiple points of origin was scientifically unreliable, thus denying him of due process. The evidence in question…

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