Leadership

When May Circumstantial Evidence be Used to Prove Arson?

Issue 11 and Volume 83.

When May Circumstantial Evidence be Used to Prove Arson? Circumstances Where Such Evidence is Permissible in Law— Other Important Legal Decisions of Interest to Firemen LEO T. PARKER Attorney-at-Law IN almost all litigations involving the crime of arson it is necessary, for a valid conviction, that the accused confess his guilt or the testimony shows beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty. In other words, a convitcion cannot rest on mere suspicion. For illustration, in Williams vs. State, 169 N. E. 698, it was disclosed that the owner of a store insured it for full value. Soon afterward he purchased three gallons of gasoline and took it upon the second floor of the building. During the night the building partly burned. After the fire was extinguished a rag saturated with kerosene was found on the second floor. Also, straw, torn paper, etc., was found on this floor. In view…

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