I wanted to watch and review the new TV show Dallas DNA, which premiered last night, but apparently we don't get the Investigation Discovery channel in Austin. It's focused on the efforts of the Dallas District Attorney's Conviction Integrity Unit and appears to feature quite a few people I've personally gotten to meet over the last year working for the Innocence Project of Texas. Here's an AP report about the series and the debut of its first episode last night.
Exoneree reentry struggles
The Dallas News Crime Blog brings word of a conference for exonerees on Friday in Dallas to help them deal with their reentry struggles.
Will expanded DNA database contribute to crime solving backlog?
According to an ACLU of Texas fact sheet (pdf) about Sen. Dan Patrick's SB 727 (discussed on Grits here), a bill which would vastly expand Texas' offender-DNA database to include probationers and juveniles, "A recent report on the expansion of California’s DNA databank shows that expanding the database to all felons resulted in delays of six months or more in analyzing rape kits. In one case, a rapist attacked two more victims, including a child, while his DNA sat on a shelf awaiting analysis." The bill "will cost over $4 million in State Highway 6 funds for the Department of Public Safety to process the DNA" and require new fees from probationers.
Immigrant hunger strikers demanding right to bail
Democracy Now! has a feature on 100 hunger striking prisoners at a federal immigration detention center in Port Isabel, TX. A spokesman for the hunger strikers said they're demanding the federal government recognize their constitutional right to a reasonable bail while their civil court proceedings progress. The also interview Bob Libal of Grassrooots Leadership who blogs over at Texas Prison Bidness. Here's the video (the Port Isabel story is first up):