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September 16, 2008

Dallas DA talking about capital case review and a quasi-moratorium

The Dallas Morning News has this notable report about a local DA talking about reviewing all pending capital cases because of innocence concerns.  Here are the basics:

Troubled that innocent people have been imprisoned by faulty prosecutions, District Attorney Craig Watkins said Monday that he would re-examine nearly 40 death penalty convictions and would seek to halt executions, if necessary, to give the reviews time to proceed. Mr. Watkins told The Dallas Morning News that problems exposed by 19 DNA-based exonerations in Dallas County have convinced him he should ensure that no death row inmate is actually innocent.

"It's not saying I'm putting a moratorium on the death penalty," said Mr. Watkins, whose reviews would be of all of the cases now on death row handled by his predecessors. "It's saying that maybe we should withdraw those dates and look at those cases from a new perspective to make sure that those individuals that are on death row need to be there and they need to be executed."...

Fred Moss, a law professor at Southern Methodist University, said he had never heard of another prosecutor in the country who had conducted the type of review Mr. Watkins proposed. "It's really quite extraordinary," Mr. Moss said.

September 16, 2008 at 09:27 AM | Permalink


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Tracked on Sep 16, 2008 7:06:18 PM


Best DA in the country. Easy.

Posted by: RW | Sep 16, 2008 11:42:45 AM

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