The Court of Criminal Appeals has launched a Criminal Justice Integrity Unit. The CJIU will make recommendations on topics including
- Improving the quality of defense counsel available for indigent defendants.
- Implementing procedures to improve eyewitness identification
- Making recommendations to eliminate improper interrogations and to protect against false confessions.
- Reforming the standards for collection, preservation and storage of evidence.
- Improving crime lab reliability
I was made aware of this by the Grits for Breakfast blog, which scooped the online versions of the Dallas Morning News and the Houston Chronicle, among many others. Scott Henson, a 1985 Tyler Lee grad, writes Grits. Grits is focused on criminal justice reform in Texas, and has earned praise from Texas Monthly, the New York Times, and many other publications. Here is a interview with Scott by the Public Defender Stuff blog. Scott’s interview offers a lot of intense, “big” picture” thinking. And, then there’s this memorable exchange:
Q: (by PDStuff) If Heaven exists, what do you think God will say to you when you arrive?
A: “I know it’s not Texas but I think you’ll learn to like it here, anyway.”
Update: Grits for Breakfast has posted on his conversation with CCA Judge Barbara Hervey about the CJIU.