A Texas legislative committee heard testimony yesterday on a bill proposing the creation of an innocence commission to review wrongful conviction cases and analyze possible reforms that could prevent future injustice. Blogger Scott Henson testified on behalf of the Innocence Project of Texas. He wrote at Grits for Breakfast:
Texas' recent string of DNA exonerations have provided a unique window into the mechanics of false convictions. This bill would create a mechanism for formally identifying sources of error and suggesting ways to reduce their number in the future. Of course, we already know many of these causes – including faulty eyewitness ID procedures, mendacious informants, false confessions, and flawed forensics – but those are only the most prominent examples, hardly an exhaustive list.
State Sen. Rodney Ellis (the Innocence Project Board Chairman)
has filed a similar bill in the Texas Senate
Seven states have similar commissions, including one created by Texas’ Court of Criminal Appeals in the absence of a state system.
View our interactive map for information on the other innocence commissions around the country