Dallas DA is a new kind of civil rights activist


Craig Watkins, the first African-American district attorney in Dallas County, has devoted the first months of his term to improving the county’s criminal justice system. A column in yesterday’s Star-Telegram compares Watkins with Martin Luther King, Jr.

"African-American males between 18 and 25 are more likely to be in prison, probation or parole than in college," he [Watkins] said. "That doesn't say that African-American men are bad people. I believe that there is something wrong with the system."

…Looking back at the heretical ideas of Martin Luther King Jr., people now realize that he was truly a healer. Some may consider Watkins a heretic today, but he hopes that history will prove him to be a healer of an ailing criminal justice system.

Dallas County's election of a "radical" may be just the right tonic for criminal justice reform.

Read the full story

. (Fort-Worth Star-Telegram, 6/20/07)

Dallas County has the most exonerations of any county in the country, with 13 known wrongful convictions in less than six years. Read more about these 13 cases



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