News 04.22.11

Friday Roundup: Reform Bill Fails in Texas, Misconduct in California

The Texas House of Representatives

voted down a bill yesterday that would have created a nine-member commission to investigate wrongful conviction cases

and publish its findings. The Commission was to be named after Timothy Cole, who died in prison while serving a 25 year sentence for a 1986 rape he didn’t commit.

The Northern California Innocence Project

released a report this month citing prosecutorial misconduct in 102 cases statewide last year

. Twenty-six convictions have been overturned or modified,

according to a Mercury News article

.

Derrick Williams spent 18 years behind bars in Florida for a 1992 rape and kidnapping. His conviction was overturned earlier this month after exculpatory DNA evidence emerged. But because of a previous larceny conviction,

Williams is ineligible for compensation under state law

. Florida is the only state with the “clean hands” provision.  

A Dayton Daily News article reports on developments in the murder trial of Ryan Widmer, who was found guilty two months ago of killing his wife, Sara. Widmer’s attorney maintains that the

county coroner failed to run tests that could rule out homicide as the cause of death

.

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