A proposal that would create Texas’ first panel charged with reviewing the causes of wrongful convictions and preventing future injustice has hit a roadblock in the state House. The bill, which is sponsored by Sen. Rodney Ellis (who also chairs the Innocence Project Board of Directors), failed to pass out of a House committee last week after passing the full Senate in April.
The bill could still be resurrected by adding the language to another House bill, but the legislative session ends next week.
An editorial in today’s Dallas Morning News calls on lawmakers to address problems in the criminal justice system Texas has had more convictions overturned by DNA evidence, 28, than any other state in the U.S.
We hope Mr. Ellis finds a way to resuscitate the legislation by tacking it onto another bill.
With Texas by far the most active death penalty state, our quality of justice must adhere to the most rigorous standards to be found nationwide. It's a sad chapter when lawmakers send the message that they're willing to settle for something less.
Read the full editorial here
. (Dallas Morning News, 5/22/07)