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
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.”