November 17th, 2010
James Hebshie’s case would most likely have been another wrongful conviction that never came to light without the help of Jeanne Kempthorne and John Lentini. Ms. Kempthorne took on Mr. Hebshie’s case for appeal and, believing in his innocence, refused to give up after losing in the first circuit. She enlisted the help of NEIP for the habeas petition. Kempthorne was a U.S. attorney for ten years before opening her own firm. She focuses on appellate and post-conviction practice in state and federal court.
John Lentini, one of the nation’s most prominent fire scientists, testified on Hebshie’s behalf at the evidentiary hearing granted by Judge Gertner in this case. Lentini has testified in over 200 cases (both civil and criminal) and has conducted over 2,000 fire scene investigations. Lentini pointed out the shortcomings in the government’s case, including the “scientific” testimony relating to the fire. Judge Gertner relied heavily on Lentini’s testimony when issuing her order earlier this week.