New Dallas DA wants to be “smart on crime”


From today’s Washington Post:

Craig Watkins is still settling into his 11th-floor office overlooking the city skyline, hanging up pictures, arranging his plaques — and revolutionizing the criminal justice system he oversees.

Sworn in as Dallas County district attorney on Jan. 1 — he is the first elected black district attorney in Texas — Watkins fired or accepted the resignations of almost two dozen high-level white prosecutors and began hiring minorities and women.

And in an unprecedented act for any jurisdiction in the nation, he announced he would allow the Texas affiliate of the Innocence Project to review hundreds of Dallas County cases dating back to 1970 to decide whether DNA tests should be conducted to validate past convictions.

Read the full story here

. (Washington Post, 03/05/07)

DNA testing has proven the innocence of

13 wrongly convicted people in Dallas

in the last five years. Wakins announced last month that his office will cooperate with the

Innocence Project of Texas

to review hundreds of cases in which a convicted person applied for testing and was denied.

Read more about this groundbreaking move here



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