Magazine article Corrections Forum

Tex. Conviction Integrity Unit Shifts Focus to Systemic Improvement

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Tex. Conviction Integrity Unit Shifts Focus to Systemic Improvement

Article excerpt

Dallas Morning News

It's been almost a year since Dallas County's last DNA exoneree. The flood of exonerations in the county, where since 2001 more wrongfully convicted people have been freed through DNA testing than anywhere else in the nation, is slowing to a trickle. There are only so many cases where genetic evidence is available to test. Now, the emphasis of the conviction integrity unit established by District Attorney Craig Watkins in 2007 is shifting toward challenging cases where there is no DNA to test, but where questions remain about an inmate's guilt or innocence.

Without DNA evidence, these cases require more time and can mean investigating a crime that occurred years ago as though it just happened: tracking down witnesses, comparing fingerprints to see if there is a match when one didn't exist before, seeking new evidence. …

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