California Senate committee passes three reform bills


The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, one of six “

innocence commissions

” around the country, is supporting three critical reform bills in the California legislature this year. Lawmakers heard testimony from three exonerees on Tuesday, and the Senate Public Safety Committee passed the three bills, which would improve eyewitness identification procedures, require recording of certain custodial interrogations and place requirements on prosecutors to verify information before a jailhouse informant testifies.

Two similar bills were vetoed last year by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"This isn't a foolproof guarantee that we won't have wrongful convictions," said Gerald F. Uelman, a noted defense attorney and professor at Santa Clara University School of Law. "But it would substantially reduce the risk." Uelman and former two-term Attorney General John Van de Kamp lead the panel, formally known as the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice.

Read the full story here

. (San Jose Mercury News, 4/18/07, free registration required)

Read more about these reforms and others in our

Fix The System


The San Jose Mercury News published a special series on wrongful convictions last year, entitled “Tainted Trials, Stolen Justice,”

click here to read the articles


Read the bills now pending before the California Senate:


(eyewitness identification reforms)


(recording of interrogations)


(snitch testimony reforms)

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