California considers legislation to prevent wrongful convictions


Three new bills that would help prevent wrongful convictions passed in California’s Assembly Public Safety Committee yesterday. The bills, based on the recommendations of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, call for the recording of all interrogations of suspects in violent felonies, the corroboration of any jailhouse informant testimony and new guidelines for line-up procedures. Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas, sponsor of the bill on lineup procedures, underscored the importance of reforms that address the leading causes of wrongful convictions.

"When opponents" of the bill say wrongful convictions are infrequent, "I say tell that to the guy who spent 17 years in prison for something he didn't do," Ridley-Thomas said. "If we're not vigilant it will happen more frequently."

Last year, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed similar bills after they had passed in both houses. This year’s bills address the governor’s concerns.

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. (Los Angeles Times 6/27/07)

Read the

full text of SB 756

, which includes eyewitness identification reforms. (PDF)

Get an update on the

status of SB 756

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