[The] New York Times has a long feature about the more than 200 prisoners who've been exonerated by DNA evidence in the U.S. since 1989. Not surprisingly, a disproportionate number of them are from Texas (the first two words of the story are the name of an exoneratee from Austin: "Christopher Ochoa"). Nice multimedia extension online: Go here to listen to them tell their stories in their own words. You'll surely get mad and depressed, as I did.For a cold, rainy Saturday night on a holiday, I was gratified that several hundred people showed up at the DNA Blues Ball in Dallas. Jeff Blackburn, Chief Counsel of the Innocence Project of Texas (IPOT), told me at the end of the evening they'd raised enough to pay for 15 more inmates to get DNA tests to try to prove their innocence.
In addition, IPOT has formed an "exoneree council," Blackburn said, that intends to push for innocence reforms at the 2009 Texas Legislature.