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Saturday, April 07, 2007

13th Dallas County Exoneration Monday; Innocence Commission Bill to be Heard Tuesday

On Monday, a court in Dallas County is set to hold a hearing on what will become the 13th DNA-related exoneration recorded in Dallas County since a state law was adopted in 2001 granting convicted people the right to petition for genetic testing. No other county in the nation has had as many exonerations.

The Senate Committee on Criminal Justice will hold a hearing on an innocence commission bill (SB 263) on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 in room E1.016 at 10 AM. They will also hear testimony on a bill to raise the amount of compensation for wrongful imprisonment to $50,000 per year or $100,000 per year if the person was sentenced to death.

More on the 13th exoneration:

Based on the affidavits, prosecutors said they'll join a request by attorneys for James Curtis Giles to have state District Judge Robert Francis find him innocent of the savage sexual assault that sent him to prison for a decade.

His would be the 13th DNA-related exoneration recorded in Dallas County since a state law was adopted in 2001 granting convicted people the right to petition for genetic testing. No other county in the nation has had as many exonerations.

District Attorney Craig Watkins is expected to be in court to offer an apology to Mr. Giles – the third case in which he has done so since taking office in January. He has made the correction of wrongful convictions a priority.

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