Tea Partiers HelpTexas Pass Measures to Prevent Wrongful Convictions

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Texas legislators this year approved seven bills that advocates argue could help prevent future wrongful convictions, says the Texas Tribune. Reform advocates and prosecutors agreed that the increased presence of Tea Party Republicans helped change the legislature’s attitude toward law and order. “The dynamic at the Capitol is definitely changing in criminal justice,” said Shannon Edmonds of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association. Edmonds said that with more libertarian-leaning members of the Republican Party, the approach has become less focused on Texas’ traditional tough-on-crime ways. For instance, more Republican legislators are inclined to vote with Democrats for reduced penalties for small amounts of drugs. “It was a good session for criminal justice reform, said Ana Yáñez-Correa of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. After the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton for killing his wife, she said, prosecutors who opposed change seemed to have less sway with lawmakers.

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