In the Souliotes arson-murder habeas action I've blogged about, see 11/27/11 post & 4/28/12 post, and written an Op-Ed piece about for the Modesto Bee, 5/1/12, Chief EDCA U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii Friday denied the Attorney General's objections and adopted the magistrate judge's findings and recommendations that the AG's motion to dismiss be denied, agreeing that the evidence showed that it is more likely than not the jury would not have found Souliotes guilty if not for the false arson scientific evidence:
The undersigned agrees that the fire science evidence presented at trial, including the MPD evidence placing Petitioner at the scene, was extremely strong evidence implicating Petitioner’s guilt because reasonable and conscientious jurors may well have found Petitioner guilty in light of that evidence alone. Because the fire science evidence presented at trial has been discredited, the Magistrate Judge was correct to scrutinize the remaining evidence, with careful attention paid to Sandoval’s testimony - the only remaining evidence that directly linked Petitioner to the scene of fire. Having determined Sandoval’s evidence to lack credibility and the circumstantial evidence to not be persuasive, Petitioner has made a showing of actual innocence that “more likely than not” no reasonable juror would have found Petitioner guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Souliotes Order, 7-6-12, at 6 (footnote omitted).
Now that the EDCA court has found that Souliotes has made a strong showing of actual innocence and given his age (71), this seems like the rare case warranting bail pending further habeas proceedings--if the Attorney General stubbornly continues to oppose a new trial.