Texas Prosecutor Says State Should Pass Racial Justice Act

DALLAS (January 21, 2013)—Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, who has built a reputation for freeing wrongfully convicted inmates, says he an idea to advance criminal justice reform.

He’s proposing a statewide law that would allow defendants to appeal convictions and sentences on the basis of race.

Watkins said in a recent interview that he wants Texas to consider a racial justice act, which he says might allow defendants to introduce different forms of evidence to argue their prosecutions or sentence were influenced in some way by race.

He says it's an issue of fairness for all.

But in a Legislature that could be one of the most conservative in history, it's unclear whether such an idea would have support.

Two other states have passed racial justice acts.

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