Friday, March 29, 2013

DNA Testing in Death Penalty Cases

A new bill proposed by a Democratic senator requires all death penalty cases to have DNA testing of evidence before trial goes into place. The bill, written by Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, is intended to ensure that only the guilty face execution. The bill has garnered support from both sides of the aisle, more notably from Republican Attorney General Greg Abbot.

False convictions have been prevalent in the American justice system for a long time. In fact, there have been 29 exonerations have occurred in several US states since 2004. Many of these exonerations have occurred when the individual who was falsely accused spent more than 10 years in prison for something they did not do

As far as the bill being in the Texas Senate, it has been filed, read and sent to Criminal Justice. Outside of the coauthor being authorized on March 25, there has not been much action going on with the bill. I'm not too sure if Texas legislators find this bill to be particularly important to them, but I, for one, am tired of hearing about people spending time in prison for something they did not do based off a flawed system.

Stories, statistics, and other information regarding the Death Penalty and exonerations can be found here.

Information regarding SB 1292 can be found here.

Original article can be found here.

Bill:  SB 1292 
Elliot Trejo

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