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Texas Exonerees Urge Legislation to Prevent Wrongful Convictions

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Posted: May 11, 2011   5:23 PM

Four Texas exonerees joined Sen. Rodney Ellis and Innocence Project of Texas Policy Director Cory Sessions on Tuesday to urge House legislators to pass bills that combat wrongful convictions.  According to The Texas Tribune, house committees have less than three weeks to act on vital innocence bills.

There have been more DNA exonerations in Texas than any other state, with eyewitness misidentification contributing to the majority of them.

Sen. Ellis introduced an eyewitness identification bill last year, but it didn’t go anywhere.  This session, he introduced a bill that would require police departments to adopt a written eyewitness identification procedure guide to prevent eyewitness misidentifications.

The House is also considering a  bill that would allow for post-conviction DNA testing if DNA samples were not previously obtained or tested prior to conviction.

Other innocence bills include one to ensure that exonerees' attorney fees are not excessive and another that would give exonerees the opportunity to buy health insurance for the length of time they served in prison, reported The Tribune.

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