Texas panel reviewing, debating report about disputed arson finding goes into closed session

By Jeff Carlton, AP
Friday, September 17, 2010

Texas panel goes into closed session in arson case

DALLAS — A Texas science panel reviewing a report about a disputed arson finding that led to a man’s execution has begun its meeting by going behind closed doors.

The Texas Forensic Science Commission is reviewing a report that says fire investigators weren’t at fault in determining that a 1991 blaze at a home that killed three girls was deliberately set.

If commissioners approve the report, it could end their inquiry into the arson finding that led to the 2004 execution of the children’s father, Cameron Willingham.

The report contradicts one written last year by fire expert Craig Beyler, who concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence for an arson finding.

The commission meeting’s in Dallas began Friday with the chairman calling for a closed session.

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