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.
Labels: eyewitness ID, prosecutors, wrongfully accused