News 06.01.07

New York legislators near deal on reform legislation

Innocence Project Co-Director Peter Neufeld and four New Yorkers exonerated by DNA testing testified before a state Assembly committee yesterday that a package of reforms introduced in the Assembly would bring “serious, meaningful and badly needed” reforms to the state’s criminal justice system. Now it appears that legislators might be close to reaching a compromise between a bill that passed the Senate and the bill pending in the Assembly. The Innocence Project supports the package of reforms in the Assembly because it is addresses critical issues more substantially and more meaningfully than the Senate bill. Gov. Elliot Sptizer said yesterday that certain reforms from the Assembly bill were “reasonable…”

"I would be willing to support … an innocence commission," Spitzer said. And as for the widening the window for appeal, he said: "That is a reasonable compromise."


Read the full story here

. (Elmira Star-Gazette, 5/31/07)

Read the Innocence Project’s press release

here

.

More news coverage:

Wrongfully convicted: DNA expansion must include protections

(Journal-News, 6/1/07)

The four exonerees testiftying yesterday were

Alan Newton

,

Doug Warney

,

Roy Brown

and

Jeff Deskovic

; together they served 60 years in prison for crimes they didn't commit. They are among 23 people proven innocent by DNA testing in New York. Only Texas and Illinois have seen more convictions overturned by DNA testing.


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