It's not because Watkins opposes capital punishment, but rather because not one but two previous DA administrations failed to hand over potentially exculpatory information to the defendant's lawyers in the case. Reported AP ("DA's request spares man found guilty in sporting goods slayings," Sept. 14):
prosecutors discovered evidence that had not been turned over to Lave's defense attorneys. The evidence, a second polygraph test given co-defendant Timothy Bates, came to light within the last few days, Ware said.One wonders, in how many other cases did Dallas prosecutors conceal exculpatory evidence? We may never know, but I'm glad to see DA Watkins taking responsibility for his predecessors' missteps. It would be easier for him to sweep such cases under the rug, just like the last two Dallas DAs did.
While he wouldn't describe the polygraph results in detail, it "goes to his credibility," [ADA Mike] Ware said.
Lave's lawyers had been requesting the information for years as part of the post-conviction process, and Ware said it appeared the administrations of two previous district attorneys failed to turn it over. Watkins became Dallas County district attorney in January.