Man Convicted in 1985 Fire That Killed 2 Sons Gets Retrial

A Philadelphia man is getting a new day in court nearly 17 years after he was sentenced to death for setting a fire that killed his two young sons.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports 56-year-old Daniel Dougherty's retrial is scheduled to start Monday.

A jury convicted Dougherty of murder in the deaths of his 4-year-old son Daniel and 3-year-old son John, who died of smoke inhalation in the 1985 fire.

Dougherty was granted a new trial after an appeals court found that his lawyer's ineffectiveness skewed the original case so much that "no reliable adjudication of guilt or innocence took place."

His new lawyers are expected to present expert testimony to show that the fire science used to convict him was bogus.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office declined to comment.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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