A bill to require Texas prosecutors to undergo training to ensure evidence is not withheld in most felony and misdemeanor criminal cases is on its way to Gov. Rick Perry desk, reports the San Antonio Express-News. The bill would require that one of the three hours of ethics training that Texas lawyers must undergo each year be related to the requirements to disclose exculpatory and mitigating evidence in all but Class C misdemeanor cases.
Bexar County District Attorney Susan Reed said that while she has been providing the training to her staff for years, she was inspired to push for a statewide requirement by the highly-publicized case of Michael Morton, who was wrongly convicted in Williamson County for the 1986 slaying of his wife. Morton’s case was taken up by the Innocence Project in New York, and he was cleared by DNA testing. He was formally acquitted in 2011. The bill was passed by the Texas House earlier this month and approved by the Senate on Wednesday.