Politics Delay Reform in Ohio


A bill that would address the causes of wrongful conviction and help innocent parolees seek exoneration is stalled in the Ohio House of Representatives, seven months after passing the Senate.

The measure would require that law enforcement agencies preserve crime scene evidence and conduct “blind” identification procedures — in which the administering officer doesn’t know the identity of the suspect. It would also open a path for people on parole to seek DNA tests that can prove innocence.

Although the bill has bipartisan support and the Governor has said he will sign it if passed, the Columbus Dispatch reports that progress seems to be delayed by a legislative logjam.

The delay has frustrated supporters, including Mark Godsey, director of the Ohio Innocence Project.

"All parties, including prosecutors, police, Democrats and Republicans, worked for years to create a consensus bill. It's a shame it's being delayed at this point," Godsey said, noting that the bill would help prevent convictions of innocent people.

Read the full story here

. (Columbus Dispatch, 2/5/10)

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