Chemist Gerald Hurst was horrified by the quality of arson science used in the testimony that led to Sonia Cacy's 1993 conviction in Texas for setting a house fire that may have killed her uncle, says the Texas Monthly. The magazine reviews Cacy’s case and others to trace how Texas is modernizing the science of investigating arson. Last year, Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill that allowed inmates and convicts like Cacy to challenge outdated forensic testimony.
“The whole criminal justice system is moving rapidly toward a place where we don't uphold bad convictions and bad science,” Cacy's attorney Gary Udashen said. Despite criticism of the evidence in the case against Cacy, the 67-year-old parolee faces a new trial on the old case, this one based on circumstantial evidence.