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As other states have shown, concrete reforms can be achieved. The proposed commission can investigate and adopt the proposals of other such commissions, scholars and organizations before making recommendations to the Legislature. Proposals may include greater access to DNA testing, videotaping interrogations to ensure the accuracy and voluntariness of confessions, blind administration of witness identification lineups and greater preservation and oversight of forensic evidence. Any proposal should directly relate to a structural problem in Texas' criminal justice system and should be tailored to adequately prevent that problem in the future.
spent 25 years in prison before DNA evidence exonerated him in 2011. Tim Cole, an army veteran convicted of rape, spent 14 years in prison, dying in 1999 after the real rapist confessed but before DNA established his innocence.
Texas Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson's recent call for a special commission to investigate wrongful convictions in Texas. Over the past 25 years, at least 117 Texans spent years in jail for crimes they did not commit.
As Texans who are a former governor and attorney general, and a former judge and FBI director, we know our state's criminal justice system well. We witnessed DNA testing evolve into a powerful tool for separating the innocent from the guilty. Forty seven Texans have been exonerated by DNA testing the most in the nation. More exonerations through DNA and other means are likely in the future. We agree with Chief Justice Jefferson that Texas has a top notch judiciary and judicial system, but any possibility of a person wrongly convicted of a crime must be identified and eradicated.
Public faith in the criminal justice system requires that only those guilty of the crime charged suffer the consequences. Too many people have already suffered because the safeguards we put in place failed failed those wrongly convicted of a crime, failed the victims of that crime, and failed the public at large. We support Chief Justice Jefferson's call for the Texas Legislature to immediately establish an innocence commission to understand how to prevent these failures in the future, ensure that they do not happen again and rectify any mistakes already made.
with a crime who cannot afford one. Gideon's anniversary highlights the need to strengthen indigent defense systems around the country, and especially in Texas, which shamefully ranks 48th in per capita funding for indigent defense.
Innocence commission needed in Texas
Just two examples are enough to convince us that such a commission is vital: Michael Morton, a grocery store manager convicted of killing his wife, Fendi Bag Gold Chain
Greater funding of indigent defense, coupled with other reforms proposed by the innocence commission, will enhance the quality of representation for those charged with crimes and help ensure that only those guilty of a crime pay the price. In 2009, the bipartisan National Right to Counsel Committee noted that the "failure (to provide adequate funding to indigent defense systems) den(ies) justice to the poor, (and) it (also) adds costs to the entire justice system." Indeed, the costs not just monetary costs, though since 1992, Texas paid $65 million to 89 wrongfully convicted persons are severe when Texas tries and convicts an innocent person while the real perpetrator remains free to commit more crimes.
In his biennial address to the Legislature, the chief justice called for the establishment of an innocence commission to investigate each instance of exoneration, assess the likelihood of wrongful convictions in future cases and establish statewide reforms. The commission must be independent and free to develop widespread reforms and to ensure that justice is achieved in every criminal prosecution. We strongly urge that the commission be composed of diverse members, including judges, prosecutors, defense counsel, academics and legal service organizations.
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We also applaud the chief justice's call for more funding to indigent defense and state legal aid. There must be justice for all, not just those who can afford to pay for legal services. Supreme Court's decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, which requires states to provide legal counsel to those charged Fendi Flap Wallet
The exact number Fendi Iphone 7 Case of Texans wrongfully convicted is likely much higher. The Texas Legislature must find out how and why these wrongful convictions occurred, to minimize their risk in the future, and to restore public faith in the legal system, which is undermined every time a person is wrongly convicted in our great state.
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