In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to execute people with mental disabilities. But the Court left it up to individual states to define mentally disabled. After the Texas legislature failed to agree on a definition, a decision from the Court of Criminal Appeals became the de facto definition, a definition based in part on John Steinbeck’s novella Of Mice and Men.

Over the past 20 years, there’s been a revolution in the science of arson investigations. Many of the clues that had been used for decades to determine that a fire was not accidental, especially the analysis of burn patterns on walls and floors, have been proven to be false. Texas is one state that is re-examining arson convictions that may have been based on junk science.