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Posts Tagged ‘Timothy Cole’

Keeping track of innocence-related bills

From Grits: The House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee has posted an agenda which includes three important pieces of innocence legislation carried by Chairman Pete Gallego: HB 215 Relating to photograph and live lineup identification procedures in criminal cases. HB 219 Relating to the electronic recording and admissibility of certain custodial interrogations. HB 220 Relating to procedures […]

Interview with State Sen. Rodney Ellis

We move from the House to the Senate this week for conversations with the Democratic Senate delegation of Harris County. First up is State Sen. Rodney Ellis, who served three terms on Houston City Council in District D before being elected to represent SD13 in 1990. Ellis has championed many causes in his time in […]

Public defender’s office approved

Excellent! A state panel has awarded Harris County a $4.1 million grant to launch a public defender office, which is expected to start taking cases early next year. The county plans to roll out the office in phases over the next two years to handle appeals, juvenile cases, adult felony trials and mental health cases. […]

What happens to exonerees?

We know that quite a few people who had been in prison have been exonerated and freed in recent years, and we know that a fund was created by the Lege last year to give them some compensation for their years of unjust imprisonment. But there’s still work to be done to try to make […]

Tim Cole officially pardoned

This is a small bit of good to come out of a great injustice. The [Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles] sent a letter to Tim Cole’s attorney at the Innocence Project of Texas on Friday saying that it had voted to recommend clemency and forwarded its decision to Gov. Rick Perry for his signature. […]

Perry goes on the attack as evidence of a coverup mounts

The evidence keeps coming in. Lawyers representing Gov. Rick Perry on two occasions grilled Austin lawyer Sam Bassett on the activities of his Texas Forensic Science Commission, telling him its probe into a controversial Corsicana arson case was inappropriate and opining that the hiring of a nationally known fire expert was a “waste of state […]

Tim Cole advisory panel begins its work

The Tim Cole Advisory Panel on Wrongful Convictions, which was created to much fanfare by the Lege this spring, begins its mission this week in the shadow of the Cameron Todd Willingham uproar. Cole was wrongfully convicted in 1986 and died in prison 13 years later before being posthumously exonerated this year. His brother, Cory […]

Perry sneers at Willingham evidence

This is exactly what I expect from Rick Perry. Governor Rick Perry today strenuously defended the execution of a Corsicana man whose conviction for killing his daughters in a house fire hinged on an arson finding that top experts call junk science. “I’m familiar with the latter-day supposed experts on the arson side of it,” […]

Forensic Science Commission gets its report on Willingham case

It’s going to be a lot harder for anyone to claim with a straight face that the state of Texas has never executed an innocent man. Key testimony that sent a Corsicana auto mechanic to the execution chamber for setting a house fire that killed three young children was based on faulty investigations that ignored […]

Ellis asks for AG opinion on Cole pardon

You remember Timothy Cole, the wrongly-convicted man who died in prison ten years ago and has since been exonerated in a court of inquiry. The Lege passed a bill named for him to increase compensation to those who have been freed after a wrongful conviction, which Governor Perry signed. Legislation to put a constitutional amendment […]

Adding Tim Cole amendment to the call

As you saw from the Senate’s pre-filed bills, there are a number of items being pushed by legislators that aren’t a part of the call for the special session. If one believes Governor Perry, it’s unlikely that anything else will get added, at least if the session is on track to finish up by the […]

Legislative wrapups

With sine die in the rearview mirror, tis the season for legislative wrapups. Here are a couple I’ve come across. – First, from Bike Texas, which had the fairly easy task of just following one bill: The final version of the Safe Passing Bill, SB 488, was passed yesterday [Saturday] by the Texas House. Today, […]

Two for Timothy Cole

On Friday, the House concurred with Senate amendments to HB1736, the Timothy Cole Act that increases compensation to those that have been wrongly convicted. I had said on Monday that it had passed both chambers at that time, but I didn’t realize the Senate had added two amendments that needed House approval. That’s now been […]

Monday Lege roundup

Lots of legislative action today beyond the voter ID vaudeville act. Here’s a quick roundup of some other bills of interest. – HB1736, also known as the Tim Cole Act for the man who was posthumously exonerated this February, has passed both chambers and is on its way to Governor Perry’s desk. The bill increases […]

Busy day yesterday

There were a lot of bills passed yesterday by one chamber or the other. My mailbox is full of press releases touting them. I’m going to go ahead and print them beneath the fold as a roundup. A few bills that got notice in the media: – The Tim Cole Act passed out of the […]

All DNA, all the time

How often should we collect DNA from someone who’s been arrested? Some people think the answer should be a lot more often than we do now. Texas is one of several states that draw DNA samples from anyone convicted of a felony and those arrested for particularly violent crimes, such as sexual assault and murder. […]

Exonerating the deceased

One of the things Eric Berger focused on in his story about the relevance and importance of Charles Darwin some 200 years after his birth was the rise of DNA and its application to criminology. Today, DNA evidence is as well known for freeing the innocent as it is for convicting the guilty. Sadly, sometimes […]