In a column published yesterday on FoxNews.com, Radley Balko reports on California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to veto three criminal justice reform bills last month. The bills would have required law enforcement agencies to record interrogations in certain crimes, required jailhouse informant testimony to be corroborated and created a task force to develop guidelines on increasing the accuracy of eyewitness identifications.
Our criminal justice system is in dire need of repair. The spate of DNA exonerations has at least opened many Americans' eyes to the very real possibility that we're sending innocent people to prison—and even to death row.
But the number of cases in which DNA was found at the scene of a crime was properly preserved, and where testing could establish guilt or innocence, is vanishingly small. DNA testing has exposed the flaws in our system, but those flaws don't exist only in cases where DNA was significant—they also exist in the overwhelming majority of cases where it isn't. That's why we need to apply the lessons we've learned from DNA exonerations to other cases.
And it's why Gov. Schwarzenegger's refusal to adopt even modest reforms is so regrettable.
Read the full column here
. (FoxNews.com, 11/05/07)