Posted: October 1, 2013 4:00 PM
Following last week’s public announcement by relatives of Cameron Todd Willingham that urged Texas officials to conduct an investigation into Willingham’s execution, another 1991 arson case is making headlines in the Lone Star State.
The Associated Press reports that two decades after Sonia Cacy was convicted of murdering her uncle by dousing him in gasoline and setting him on fire in their Fort Stockton home, members of the Science Advisory Workgroup say that expert witnesses were inaccurate in testifying that Cacy’s uncle was alive when the fire was allegedly started and that an accelerant had been used.
The Science Advisory Workgroup, which was established by the State Fire Marshal’s Office to investigate arson cases for potential problems, said the investigation that led to Cacy’s conviction was based on outdated standards, similar to what the Texas Forensic Science Commission determined in Willingham’s case.
Cacy was sentenced to serve 99 years in prison, but was paroled in 1998. Now living with her niece, Cacy survives on Social Security payments and is forced to defend her conviction every time she applies for a job or looks to move into a place of her own. “ ‘As soon as you write down you're a felon, and they ask what it's for, it's ridiculous,’ ” Cacy told the Associated Press.
The Innocence Project of Texas has appealed Cacy’s conviction and a hearing is expected early next year.
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