Monday, November 18, 2013

Godsey: 'Texas now on cutting edge of efforts to free the innocent'

Nice to see my employers at the Innocence Project of Texas (IPOT) getting national kudos for the group's legal and policy work in light of the ruling today overturning convictions of the "San Antonio Four." Wrote Mark Godsey at the Huffington Post:
Today in Texas, four wrongfully convicted women--known as the "San Antonio Four"--had their convictions overturned and were freed. This came about thanks to the latest in a line of innovations Texas lawmakers and the Innocence Project of Texas have devised to help the wrongfully convicted. Often thought of as a rough-and-tumble, "Hang 'Em High" state--and still leading the nation in capital punishment--Texas is surprisingly now a trendsetter for innocence reforms. 
Go here to read the full story.

The legislation Godsey credits with helping secure the overturned convictions (see more on that here) was something your correspondent worked on for several years on IPOT's behalf before coming to terms with prosecutors to push the bill across the finish line. Sen. John Whitmire carried the bill for three sessions before it finally passed, and Rep. Sylvester Turner was the house sponsor. Thanks again to both of them. And congrats in particular to Mike Ware, the former head of the Dallas County Conviction Integrity Unit, an IPOT boardmember and the lead attorney who worked on the women's habeas corpus writs. Given how long it took to get the law changed, this was a particularly gratifying win.

MORE: See coverage and photos from the SA Express-News.


Lee said...

Scott, On a related subject:

Ken Anderson got out of jail today after spending only 5 days in administrative segregation. The got credit for one day during his initial mugshot and the other four through good behavior (rubbing salt in the wounds of all innocent defendants). You may want to post more about this.

I have a separate question about him. Seeing as how Duty's office is going to audit his career (and possibly Bradleys to) if she finds more innocent people in prison (as a result of Anderson's malpractice or misconduct), could be the subject of further indictment? additional charges and jail? I am certainly not naïve enough to believe that Mr. Morton was the only one but rather the indication of a pattern that just got the most recent attention. Under the logic that there are likely plenty more where Morton came from it would be advisable to Anderson to seek the protection of a country without any extradition treaties. He could take his chances with the statute of limitations defense but it may not serve him any better the second time around. I suspect it is not very long before the small town nature of Georgetown keeps to tradition and runs him out of town with pitchforks or uses the tar and feather method.

Anonymous said...

Damn Lee, you just scooped everyone, I mean everyone. Yes, it's off topic but now when someone Post about it they should give you kudos. Fwiw, when you go left without acknowledging the
post content, don't expect answers.

Btw, if you consider letting us know where you learned about this & that, put it on the lastest GFB Anderson related Post. Thanks.

Thomas R. Griffith said...


Congrats! to 'all' it may concern.

The best time to perform additional good deeds on behalf of others is right after celebrating a victory. Get some rest, there's more work to do. The IPOT isn't alone in the fight due to the criminal justice system reform movement being a Team effort.

Thanks for all that 'you' do.

Chaos said...

I wonder whether the Bexar County DA's office will continue to use Nancy Kellogg as an "expert." It's been common knowledge among the defense bar that she has perjured herself on several occasions.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I just deleted a couple of off topic comments by a repetitive commenter who seemingly wants to divert every conversation to his own hobbyhorse on a topic that doesn't even involve Texas cases. To that person: Start your own blog, stop trying to hijack this one.

It's one thing for Lee to update us on a story Grits has covered extensively in the past (though to 11:47, the Statesman actually broke the story). But let's please try to stay at least vaguely on topic, people.

Lee said...

My thoughts weren't really that far off topic given the innocent victims of Anderson. Grits, is it likely that Anderson is out of the woods or that the worst is yet to come for him?