Monday, November 06, 2006

Ten reasons and more why Texans should be embarrassed of the criminal justice system

Fort Worth Startlegram columnist Bob Ray Sanders suggests "10 reasons why Texans ought to be ashamed of their criminal justice system and should be mourning the number of lives that have been ruined by those sworn to uphold the law." He cites the stories of ten recent DNA exonerees from Dallas, but points out that its possible to name many more than ten Texans who've been wrongfully convicted in recent years.

The most important preventive strategies for reducing the number of guilty verdicts for innocent people would be requiring corroboration for snitches and certain eyewitness testimony. Texas also needs to revamp the state's approach to forensic science to give indigent defendants access to independent experts to test the state's evidence. Videotaping interrogations would also be a big help.

See additional suggestions for action by the Texas Legislature to improve public safety, retard or reduce jail overcrowding, and prevent additional wrongful convictions.

1 comment:

800 pound gorilla said...

Good luck on getting them approved. As long as injustices happen to "someone else" people won't care. As long as the lapdog media demonizes drugs and low income criminals any reformers will be castigated as "coddling criminals". And let's face it: our criminal justice system is based on socking it to the lower income classes.

We have a Controlled Substance Act that doesn't even pretend to have real identifiable standards for criminalization but no media liar will dare acknowledge this as fact. As long as those targeted by the politicians [without standards it is totally political] pick on "someone else" nobody seems very motivated to depoliticize the process. And when liberal churches denounce the drug war as racist it just energizes the "conservatives" of Minbari radio and their feel good message of blaming the victim.