Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Backstory: Texas Observer on the San Antonio Four

At the Texas Observer, Maurice Chammah has one of the more detailed accounts yet published of the backstory behind the San Antonio Four case.

Photo by Tamir Kalifa via The Texas Observer.

Having covered it during session for the Texas Tribune, Maurice has a greater understanding than most about the context surrounding the new Texas law that allows habeas corpus writs to challenge junk science used to secure false convictions. He also highlights the role of a Canadian from the Yukon Territory named Darrell Otto whose intrepid efforts helped bring this injustice to light, engage Texas-based advocates on the topic, and ultimately led to their recent release.

As is often the situation in non-DNA cases, even if their cases are formally overturned, there remains an even higher hurdle for the courts to declare them innocent, reported Chammah: "Though the women are free, they’re not exonerated. A local judge still must make recommendations to the Court of Criminal Appeals about whether to throw out the convictions and how to rule on some of the women’s lawyers’ arguments. Ware expects a battle over whether the women are declared 'actually innocent,' a designation that would entitle them to compensation from the state for their imprisonment."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Science used against the accused, call it what it is - junk science.