Thursday, January 25, 2007

Not Fun

Innocence Projects and Exonerations (Sometimes, there just is not anything fun to talk about...)

"These are appalling mistakes, and in the case of Dallas County, there have been so many," said Democratic state Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston, who is sponsoring a bill to create a Texas Innocence Commission to scrutinize the state's criminal justice system. Ellis is chairman of the board of directors for the Innocence Project. ***
Since the nation's first DNA exoneration in 1989, 26 defendants have been cleared in Illinois, including 11 in Chicago's Cook County, according to the Innocence Project. There have been 21 exonerations each in Texas and New York, nine in California and six in Florida.
In Dallas County, about 400 prisoners who filed wrongful-conviction claims have received DNA testing, leading to the 12 exonerations, said Trista Allen, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office. New District Attorney Craig Watkins, who took office two weeks ago, is determined to look into the underlying causes, she said.
Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project, said the number of exonerations in Dallas County "demands a closer look and statewide action." He said "many of the cases have to do with eyewitness identification. " AP (sometime Saturday)

Big Fourth Amendment Deal: Cert was Granted in Brendlin (IFP) v California,
People v. Brendlin, 38 Cal. 4th 1107, 45 Cal. Rptr. 3d 50, 136 P.3d 845 (June 29, 2006)
Here is the Orin Kerr/Volokh scoop.

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