In a “call to action” to address problems in the justice system, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Barbara Hervey on Wednesday announced a new Texas Criminal Justice Integrity Unit, reports the Houston Chronicle. The unit has officials from across the state and lists a broad slate of criminal justice issues that could use improvement. The issues include improving indigent defense, improving eyewitness identification and better compensating the wrongly convicted.
The court can address some areas, while the Legislature must address others. Hervey said she plans to work through the summer so the group can have solid proposals when the Legislature meets in January. An easy start, Hervey said, will focus on writ training. Writs, for the most part, are a last-chance process for someone who has been convicted and has exhausted the normal appeals process.