Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Previewing innocence legislation in House Criminal Jurisprudence today

Before I head up to the capitol this morning for the House Criminal Jurisprudence hearing on Chairman Pete Gallego's innocence legislation - including bills addressing eyewitness identification, recording interrogations in violent crimes, and allowing habeas relief when improvements in science might prove innocence - I thought I'd link to preview coverage from KXAN-TV in Austin (short ad at the beginning):

Quite a few exonerees and their family members are in town for today's hearing, and there's already some evidence of bipartisan support on the committee. See the Houston Chronicle's earlier preview of the legislation, and Grits'.

Go here to watch a livestream broadcast of the hearing beginning at 10:30 a.m. or upon adjournment of the House.

Eyewitness identification
Recording interrogations
Habeas writs

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A while back I mentioned the issue of absolute prosecutorial immunity. Grits suggested the legislature should act to scale back prosecutor's immunity. It would be nice to see something like that included in the innocence legislation.

Prosecutorial misconduct is a factor in a singificant percentage of wrongful convictions, including some of the most infamous ones sucha s Kerry Cook and Anthony Graves.

The other reforms are great and should help to reduce false convictions. But until there is some accountability for prosecutors, some of them will continue to withhold evidence, pressure witnesses to lie, and do whatever is necessary to win. So, until this issue is addressed, I'm afraid we will continue to see a significant number of wrongful convictions.