Citing Wrongful Convictions, Dallas DA Seeks Death Penalty Review


District Attorney Craig Watkins of Dallas County, where where more than two dozen wrongful convictions have been overturned, is calling for a review of the capital punishment system in the busiest death penalty state, reports the Associated Press. As Watkins acknowledged that his great-grandfather was executed in Texas almost 80 years ago, he called on state lawmakers to review death penalty procedures to ensure the punishment is fairly administered. “I think it’s a legitimate question to have, to ask: ‘Have we executed someone that didn’t commit the crime?'” Watkins told AP.

Texas has executed 55 inmates since 2009, including 13 last year, a 15-year low. Twelve former death row inmates have been freed since 1973. “I think the reforms we’ve made in our criminal justice system are better than any other state in this country,” Watkins said. “But we still need reforms. And so, I don’t know if I’m the voice for that. I just know, here I am, and I have these experiences.”

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