News 09.05.08

Friday roundup

New projects and investigations launched this week by innocence organizations, law schools, prosecutors and attorneys general across the country show the momentum nationwide to overturn wrongful convictions and address the root causes of wrongful conviction to prevent future injustice. Here’s this week’s roundup:

Questions were raised about standards of DNA collection and preservation in Massachusetts after improper procedures were revealed in a high-profile case.

Mass. is one of 25 states without a DNA preservation law.

The Mississippi Attorney General said this week that the

state is underfunding DNA tests and DNA collection

and a new task force is examining the state problem.


San Jose opened California’s largest crime lab

,

training began in Maryland

before a new law expanding the state’s database took effect and

cutbacks in Georgia led to furloughs for prosecutors

and could cause lab closings.


The Midwest Innocence Project this week launched an investigation into a 1988 fire

that killed six Kansas City firemen and led to the conviction of five people who say they’re innocent. The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, a first-of-its-kind panel dedicated to investigating cases of possible wrongful conviction, finished reviewing its first case, deciding that

there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the conviction of Henry A. Reeves

. And  Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins asked county officials to allow

filming in his offices in coming months for a Discovery Channel documentary

.

Some of the best policy analysis and research to help improve our criminal justice system comes, of course, from our nation’s law schools – and now many of those schools have blogs. Marquette University Law School launched a new faculty law blog, and

a post by Keith Sharfman

finds that “blogging’s potential as a medium for serious legal discourse can no longer be doubted.” 

A column on Law.com asks:

“Is the future of legal scholarship in the blogosphere?”



Here at the Innocence Project, we read law school blogs everyday. Among our favorites are

Crim Prof Blog

and

Evidence Prof Blog



New York University Law School has formed a new

Center on the Administration of Criminal Law

, which will seek to promote “good government practices in criminal matters.”

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