UPDATE: The Texas Politics blog reports that this bill died in committee. As Chairman Peña predicted, three Democrats weren't there for the vote, though I can't tell yet from the record who they were. I'll have more to say about the performance of various criminal justice-related committees once session is done, but I'll reiterate now that IMO this lapse caps off a very poor session for this group. Paul Burka called the committee "talent poor" earlier in the session, and I responded that we should give them a chance, that the 7 Democrats on the committee represented one of the party's best opportunities to show that they could govern. However if one were to judge solely on this committee's performance, one would have to say they're simply not ready to wield power, whatever one may think of their opposition. I'm not trying to be unfair, I'm just calling balls and strikes ... and with this bunch, not seeing many strikes.
See the feisty comment string for more opinions on the subject.
Hey, Chairman Aaron Peña, what happened to Sen. Ellis' Innocence Commission bill that went to your committee? You remember - the one that laid around the Inbox for three weeks before you gave it a hearing?
The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee voted out the rest of the bills heard with it yesterday, but I can't believe they're letting this one lay there: SB 263 creating an Innocence Commission to investigate wrongful convictions.
Uh ... why?
This is a committee dominated by Democrats, four of whom are from Dallas which is the Wrongful Conviction Capital of the nation, and so far as a group they have only racked up votes to make it MORE likely innocent people are convicted. Now they're not going to vote on this?
When it comes to expanding wiretapping authority they couldn't move fast enough.
Chairman Peña, what are you doing? If you don't plan to hold a desk meeting to kick this thing out pronto, would you mind explaining your reasons why not? Are you really going to only pass bills that encourage use of questionable evidence and sit on bills that might free innocent people?
What the hell?
Did I mention that I H-A-T-E May of odd numbered years.