Six states have formed innocence commissions to review their criminal justice systems and ensure that wrongful convictions are prevented in every way possible. The Innocence Project advocates for similar entities in other states. A bill currently pending in New York would create a commission, and the Utica Observer-Dispatch supports it.
(Roy) Brown was not the first and certainly not the only person to be wrongly convicted of a crime. But New York can do more than just lament this injustice, it can work to right other wrongs and prevent conviction of innocent people.
One suggestion for doing that is the creation of an innocence commission. Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, D-Queens, has a bill to establish a commission of 10 unpaid appointees, made up of police, prosecutors, judges, crime victims, defense attorneys and educators. The panel would analyze a case after a judge has ruled that someone was wrongfully convicted.
We urge the Legislature and Gov. Eliot Spitzer to create such a commission. No human endeavor is without error, and sometimes innocent people are unjustly punished.
Read the full editorial here
. (Utica Observer-Dispatch, 02/14/07)
Eight people have been proven innocent by DNA in New York in just 13 months,
Roy Brown was the most recent in January
have joined the call as well.
Click here for more information on innocence commissions
The Texas legislature is also considering creating an innocence commission,
read more here