Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Will New Dallas DA Get to the Bottom of Wrongful Convictions?

Wretched of the Earth announces yet another DNA exoneration in Dallas County, bringing the total since 2001 to 12. James Waller was convicted based on the identification of the victim, which, if the article about the case is correct, sounds incredibly shaky, and the type of identification that should have been dismissed by a jury as completely unreliable. Newly sworn-in Dallas DA Craig Watkins has promised not to block requests for DNA testing in future cases (he already agreed to DNA testing in another case, which helped lead to a speedy exoneration) like the previous DA had, and to look into the root causes of the wrongful convictions. I hope he follows through on that promise. It would be great if they did some training with police agencies on proper identification procedures, and backed up that training by not using IDs in court that were the result of improper procedures. That second part may be asking too much, but I'm interested in seeing where he goes with this. In the meantime, his willingness to agree to DNA testing in appropriate cases is a nice change in policy, and one that any DA truly interested in doing justice, and not just in protecting their convictions, would embrace.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Anonymous Law Student said...

It seems to me that DA's should never fight DNA testing. I mean, they are on a quest for truth and justice and all that good stuff. If they have an innocent man locked up, why not give him a shot to exonerate himself?

1/18/2007 1:39 AM  
Blogger Barbara Blog's said...

Great Book Here Please read what I wrote about it - Who And Where Is Dennis Fritz, You say after reading John Grisham's Wonderful Book "The Innocent man", Grisham's First non-fiction book. The Other Innocent Man hardly mentioned in "The Innocent Man" has his own compelling and fascinating story to tell in "Journey Toward Justice". John Grisham endorsed Dennis Fritz's Book on the Front Cover. Dennis Fritz wrote his Book Published by Seven Locks Press, to bring awareness about False Convictions, and The Death Penalty. "Journey Toward Justice" is a testimony to the Triumph of the Human Spirit and is a Stunning and Shocking Memoir. Dennis Fritz was wrongfully convicted of murder after a swift trail. The only thing that saved him from the Death Penalty was a lone vote from a juror. "The Innocent Man" by John Grisham is all about Ronnie Williamson, Dennis Fritz's was his co-defendant. Ronnie Williamson was sentenced to the Death Penalty. Both were exonerated after spending 12 years in prison. Both Freed by a simple DNA test, The real killer was one of the Prosecution's Key Witness. John Grisham's "The Innocent Man" tells half the story. Dennis Fritz's Story needs to be heard. Read about how he wrote hundreds of letters and appellate briefs in his own defense and immersed himself in an intense study of law. He was a school teacher and a ordinary man from Ada Oklahoma, whose wife was brutally murdered in 1975. On May 8, 1987 while raising his young daughter alone, he was put under arrest and on his way to jail on charges of rape and murder. Since then, it has been a long hard road filled with twist and turns. Dennis Fritz is now on his "Journey Toward Justice". He never blamed the Lord and soley relied on his faith in God to make it through. He waited for God's time and never gave up.

1/19/2007 6:53 PM  

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