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Mar 23, 2010

Ohio passed criminal justice reform bill, reports the Innocence Project.

http://www.innocenceproject.org/docs/IPonline/Mar2010.php

Ohio lawmakers last week passed a package of sweeping criminal justice reforms aimed at preventing injustice by addressing the leading causes of wrongful convictions. The bill, which Gov. Ted Strickland is expected to sign within days, was called by one lawmaker “one of the most important pieces of criminal justice legislation in this state in a century."

Each time DNA testing helps to free an innocent person from prison, we can study how our criminal justice system failed — and address the problem so it doesn’t happen again. Ohio is now a model in targeting reforms to help free the innocent, prevent wrongful convictions and apprehend the true perpetrators of crime.

The bill includes improvements to lineup procedures, a method for parolees to apply for DNA testing, incentives for police departments to record interrogations and a requirement that evidence in serious crimes be preserved. The Innocence Project worked closely with the Ohio Innocence Project for the last two years to pass these critical reforms.

While these reforms are badly needed from coast to coast, the urgency for systemic change became clear in Ohio after the Columbus Dispatch published the groundbreaking series "Test of Convictions," documenting flaws in the state’s system and helping to bring about two exonerations so far. The series’ two reporters, Mike Wagner and Geoff Dutton, will receive the Innocence Network’s first-annual Journalism Award next month.
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While Ohio is correcting some problems in its justice system, Texas prepares to execute Hank Skinner on March 24, 2010.  Skinner claims he is innocent, but the State of Texas refused Skinner the right to test his DNA evidence at his own expense.

Mary Neal
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill
http://www.Care2.com/c2c/group/AIMI


 

 
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

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Mary Neal
, 5, 2 children
Atlanta, GA, USA
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