News 09.07.10

Reducing Wrongful Convictions in Texas

More people have been freed through DNA testing in Texas than in any other state in the country, and these exonerations have revealed deep flaws in the state’s criminal justice system. Thirty-five of the 41 DNA exonerations in Texas involved eyewitness misidentifications.

In an op-ed Saturday in the Houston Chronicle, Texas Senator Rodney Ellis and Innocence Project of Texas Policy Director Cory Session  outlined the steps needed to improve the justice system in order to protect the innocent and called on the state’s political leaders to provide justice.

Sen. Ellis is the Innocence Project’s Board of Directors Chairman, and Session is the brother of Tim Cole, a Texas man who was posthumously pardoned a decade after he died in prison when DNA evidence proved his innocence. While the work of the

Timothy Cole Advisory Panel

represents a significant step forward for criminal justice reform in Texas, Ellis and Session write that reforms are still needed, including improving  eyewitness identification procedures, mandatory electronic recording of custodial interrogations and access to post-conviction DNA testing. They also call for the formation of a “fully functioning” Texas Forensic Science Commission.

Now the ball is in the Legislature’s court. We call on the Legislature and the next governor to make the reliability and integrity of our criminal justice system a top priority in the coming session – fairness and justice shouldn’t be partisan issues.


Read the full editorial

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Learn more about DNA exonerations in Texas

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  1. Eric Koehl says:

    Eric koehl was given 30 yrs for what is proven to be a class A misdemeanor unauthorized use of a motor vehicle,the value was the determing factor in whether the charge was to be a 3rd degree felony or class Amisdemeanor,1991 the vehicle listed to be $0.00 value in the state of Texas,the state knew this and still have koehl a felony 30yrs,koehl on the 29th yr served is still being denied any help or justice

  2. Ani Yedigaryan says:

    Hello,

    I am Ani Yedigaryan and I have a story about racial discrimination and unfair imprisonment.
    US government convicted my boyfriend and sentenced him 4.5 years of imprisonment for medicare fraud in one clinic in Houston Texas but he didnt do that.They dont have sufficient evidences, also the doctor and other people who were also convicted are in a freedom moreover the doctor who was convicted for 3.3 million USD medicare fraud and was sentenced 5 years imprisonment run away and the government has not written about his capture so far, though this story is written both in Houston Chronicle (http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Houston-doctor-sentenced-in-Medicare-scheme-9935971.php
    )
    https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/houston-doctor-sentenced-conspiracy-defraud-medicare

    But only my boyfriend who is an Armenian of US citizen is imprisoned due to racial discrimination.

    I would like to include this case in innocence project.
    For more detailed facts about this story , please reply me and I will give all detailed information.

    Looking forward to hearing back from you soon.

    Thanks

Thanks for your comment

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