Innocence Commission bill passes House

The Texas House of Representatives voted yesterday to create the “Tim Cole Exoneration Review Commission,” according to a recent Tribune article. The bill, HB 166, passed the House 115-28. I’ll let you take a guess as to what party those twenty-eight members belong too. Tom Craddick was the only big name that stood out among them.

According to the Tribune article, the gist of the commission is, “Members, appointed by the governor, would investigate wrongful conviction cases, identify why wrongful convictions occur, and examine appeals filed with the state’s courts for evidence of ethical violations by attorneys and judges.” Key point I saw was appointed by the Governor. So I am not so sure how much good any of this would do, but still.

Opponents in the House were mainly worried about the financial costs of the commission. Ironically, a few extra legal appeals followed by exoneration sometimes costs more than simply keeping an inmate in prison. However, don’t underestimate the power of the law & order types. My state senator, Joan Huffman, after making me happy last week, is back to thoroughly disappointing me after coming out in full force against the legislation.

The Tribune articled quoted her saying “I do not believe this would be anything other than a place for people to rant and rave about what they don’t like about the criminal justice system.” Yuck. I suppose this means the bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate.

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