Thursday, February 05, 2009

Busy day at capitol and courts on innocence

Today's a busy day on the innocence front in Austin, both at the capitol and the courthouse.

More than a dozen Texas DNA exonerees, along with students and boardmembers from the Innocence Project of Texas, will be at the capitol to promote legislative reforms aimed at preventing false convictions and providing redress for innocent people currently incarcerated. Here's a summary of the legislation they'll be promoting. I'll be spending my day helping with that effort.

Also, this afternoon, Judge Charlie Baird in the 299th District Court will conduct a court of inquiry to exonerate Timothy Cole.

There's been a lot of good coverage on this case, but if you're not familar and want some highlights, NPR ran a story this morning and has previously interviewed Cole's mother, Ruby Cole Session, and Michele Mallin, the rape victim whose testimony helped secure Cole's conviction. You can also hear their interview with Jeff Blackburn, chief counsel for the Innocence Project of Texas. See also a three-part series titled, "Hope Deferred," that ran last year in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal.

Tomorrow, there will be a legislative briefing at the capitol featuring some of the folks involved in the Cole case and a presentation by Gary Wells, the nation's leading expert on eyewitness identification errors, plus the Cole hearing will resume (and presumably, finish) Friday afternoon.

Blogging will be light to nonexistent while all this is going on, but I should have a lot to say about innocence-related events this week after we get through the next couple of days.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you can also bring some attention to the conditions at Texas county jails like Montague and Dallas County and ask to eliminate the Texas Commission On Jail Standards.

Dallas County has failed their last 5 state jail inspections and now comes this report today in the Dallas Morning News about a recent federal jail inspection.

Anonymous said...

My heart broke this morning when I heard this story on NPR.

Am I wrong to add this to the Bush Legacy given this happened in Texas, during Bush's Texas Gubernatorial leadership in wrongful convictions and executions, and continued under the climate of Bush's Executive Administration in the White House. Am I wrong. The hubris of the Texas Judges in this case is stupefying. Does truth mean nothing?

I may be wrong, but my heart aches as I shed a tear for this innocent, young, destroyed life. Perhaps no one is too blame, because we are all to blame. This could have been my son or nephew. God Bless and keep you.

Anonymous said...

Please rush to the Tarrant County Jail where Michael TONEY has been transferred on January 3O and is in monstruous conditions.He has nothing to eat because of his lethal allergy to soja and because he has "no I.D." ????

His French DefenseCommittee

Anonymous said...

What about the INNOCENT probationers in Bexar County who were Falsely imprisoned because of FAULTY DRUG TESTING BY TREATMENT ASSOCIATES? And why didn't the Bexar County Chief probation officer Bill Fitzgerald listen to his probation officers who tried to warn him of the SHODDY WORK???????

STOP BLAMING BUSH-HE can't be blamed for everything that has happened!!!! O ye of small minds!