Wednesday, August 04, 2021

In re Parks (Cal. Ct. App. - Aug. 3, 2021)

This opinion begins:  "Over 25 years ago, Joann Parks was convicted of murdering her three young children by setting a house fire that killed them."  She files a state habeas petition essentially saying that she's innocent and that new fire investigation science casts huge doubt about her conviction.

The Court of Appeal denies her petition.  It's a 57-page opinion.  There's a ton of detail in there.

After reading the whole thing, I can't say that I've concluded that Ms. Parks is innocent.  But I also can't say that I'm totally convinced she's guilty.  It might well be that she's been in prison for a quarter century for a crime she didn't commit.

But, again, maybe she did.  Super hard to tell.  Super hard to tell even beyond a reasonable doubt.

If she's innocent -- and was convicted of murdering her three kids when they in fact were killed in an accidental fire -- what a nightmare.