In a groundbreaking move, new Dallas District Attorney
announced this week that volunteer attorneys and law students from the
Innocence Project of Texas
would begin reviewing the cases of 354 people convicted in Dallas of rapes, murders and other felonies. Most of these defendants had applied for testing and been rejected by judges on the recommendation of former Dallas DA Bill Hill. The project has drawn support from prosecutors, defense attorneys, victims groups and other innocence organizations.
Organizers are working to line up participants and hope to start the screening process in the next two months. The work is expected to take several months to complete, said Jeff Blackburn, who heads the Innocence Project of Texas.
Ms. Moore said the office is prepared to request testing in any case for which it is recommended. If the cost of testing becomes an issue, she said, private laboratories might be approached about providing a bulk rate to the county.
Barry Scheck, co-director of the national Innocence Project, said he had "no doubt" that if biological evidence is available and tests are performed, more wrongful convictions will be discovered.
"There just always are," he said.
Read the full story here
. (Dallas Morning News, 02/16/07)
Thirteen Dallas men have been proven innocent by DNA testing,
read their stories here
Broad criminal justice reforms are being considered by Texas lawmakers,
read more here
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