Recent reports indicate that thousands of convicted arsonists may have been falsely accused and wrongfully convicted. This is due to the fact that arson investigators have relied on a basic set of assumptions about how fires burn…assumptions which really amount to little more than “old wives tales”.
California’s arson laws (Penal Codes 451 and 452 PC) prohibit willfully, maliciously, or even recklessly setting fire to another’s property or land. These laws even prohibit willfully setting fire to your own property if (1) you did so with a fraudulent intent, or (2) other property or persons were injured as a result.
California’s arson laws themselves under these Penal Code sections are fine, that’s not the problem. It’s how these arson cases…and those around the country…are investigated that is the issue.