Ed Graf has spent 25 years in prison in Waco, Texas, convicted of setting a fire in a shed that killed his two stepsons.
But in the years since Graf’s trial, much of the forensic evidence used against him has been revealed to be nothing more than junk science, which has prompted the state of Texas to take a look at old arson convictions dating back to at least 2003. Graf became the first person in the state to get a retrial based on new understandings of fire forensics.
Still, the question remains, was it arson or an accident? This story aired on All Things Considered on the first day of Graf’s trial, and you can listen to it here.
Two weeks later, NPR followed up on the surprising and ambiguous conclusion. You can listen to that story here.
Chris Scott confronts Alonzo Hardy, the man who did the crime that landed Scott in prison for 13 years. (Photo still from forthcoming documentary Freedom Fighters)
This is an “as told to” story I worked on with exoneree Chris Scott for the Texas Observer. Read it here. I’m also a producer on a forthcoming documentary about Scott called Freedom Fighters.
In February 2014, I headed to the Eastham prison in East Texas to meet the man who took away my freedom, Alonzo Hardy. He and another man robbed and murdered a crack dealer in Dallas in 1997, then skipped town while I was charged and then convicted for his crime.
As I drove past the guard station and the men in white working the fields, I wondered what I could possibly say to the man who almost let me be executed for something he did. The anger, frustration and bitterness started to swell inside like a fever. To be honest, I felt like I might explode in violence when I saw him. But I knew I couldn’t do that. It would defeat the entire purpose of why I was there.