Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ohio passes innocence reforms Texas sacrficed on Voter ID altar

Ohio passed some of the innocence reforms that Texas legislators sacrificed on the altar of Voter ID legislation. According to Steven Weinberg at True/Slant:
The law, known as Senate Bill 77 within the 128th General Assembly session, runs 25 pages (at least as printed from my computer).

The most important provisions accomplish this:

*When police are trying to identify suspects, the photo identification procedures and live lineups must be conducted in a double-blind manner. That means the law enforcement officer conducting the procedure does not know the identity of the suspect.

*Police agencies should record all interrogations of suspects in certain types of cases from the start to the finish. Confessions that are part of the interrogation process would thus be recorded, too.

*DNA evidence from murders and sexual assault cases would be preserved far better than before.

*DNA testing of suspects can occur during the parole phase as well as the prison phase.

In a followup post, Weinberg laments that cases predating the reforms aren't being given a second look by prosecutors and judges who instead say they prioritize finality.

1 comment:

Thomas R. Griffith said...

Hey Grits, thank you for bringing this to our attention.

In Nov. of 2009, we learned about another historic move by the state of Ohio in which they implemented the "Ohio Public Defender's Wrongful Conviction Project." A project devoted to non-DNA related claims of innocence. From what I gathered there are only three states with 'projects' such as this. (New York, Michigan and now Ohio.)

This is a great start and hopefully it reduces/eliminates false arrests and wrongful convictions of the state’s future.

In our effort to get Texas on board we have confronted PDs & Sheriffs. Most have displayed a blatant defiance to any and all change in a redneck, hayseed kind of way. (And some are not even from Texas.) Would you suggest that our endeavors include addressing the Texas Leg., Perry and White? What about petitions? Thanks.