Beering, Peter S. Top Ten Reasons Why Prosecutors Reject Arson Cases.
Firehouse. Vol 20 No 8 (August 1995). p 44-45.
Abstract: This article explains the main reasons why arson cases
are not prosecuted. Arson cases are rejected for legal, practical, and political
reasons. Arson is a crime against property and no one usually gets hurt.
This sometimes forces the prosecutor's office to place arson cases on the
back burner to deal with higher priority cases, such as homicide, gang,
and drug cases. Another reason arson cases are rejected results from non-cooperation
between the police and fire departments. These agencies sometimes work against
each other, which weakens the arson case. Disorganization also makes arson
cases hard to win. A fire investigator must present the prosecutor with
an organized incident report containing all known facts and evidence. Circumstantial
evidence is another brick wall prosecutors face when trying arson cases.
Firefighters and investigators need to be trained to identify valuable evidence.
Investigations must also begin immediately so possible witnesses can be
identified and evidence can be preserved.
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