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.

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