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VERDICT - GUILTY OF BURNING - WHAT PROSECUTORS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ARSON

NCJ Number
54515
Author(s)
ANON
Date Published
Unknown
Length
15 pages
Annotation
THIS BOOKLET OUTLINES WHAT PROSECUTORS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ARSON IN TERMS OF THE SIGNS POINTING TO ARSON, COMMON METHODS AND MOTIVES, AND THE LOGISTICS OF SUCCESSFULLY TRYING A SUSPECTED ARSONIST.
Abstract
THE KEY ELEMENTS OF A PROSECUTOR'S INVESTIGATORY APPROACH ARE NOTED WITH RESPECT TO THE INITIAL INTERVIEWS REGARDING A CASE OF SUSPECTED ARSON. THE FIRST SIGNS OF AN INTENTIONAL INCENDIARY INCIDENT--THE COLOR OF THE FLAMES, THE ABSENCE OF FOOD IN THE KITCHEN, CLOTHES IN THE CLOSETS, FURNITURE AND OTHER VALUABLES--ARE COVERED, ALONG WITH THE COMMON CAUSES OF FIRES, THE FAVORITE TOOLS OF ARSONISTS, DETERMINING THE POINT OF ORIGIN, AND IDENTIFYING THE MOTIVES AND PROBABLE SUSPECTS. THE LEGAL PITFALLS OF ARSON INVESTIGATION ARE DISCUSSED, AS IS THE TRIAL PHASE, INCLUDING THE ROLE OF EXPERT WITNESSES AND THE USE OF EXPERIMENTS. SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ARSON ARE ALSO INCLUDED. (KBL)