Singing Loudly: Shame on Dallas County

Singing Loudly

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Shame on Dallas County

The 12th man has been exonerated from a crime he did not commit in Dallas County. DNA evidence conclusively proved that James Waller was not guilty of the rape he was convicted of in Dallas County. Half of his life was spent in prison due to the prosecution of Dallas County DA's and a Dallas County jury.

I feel bad for my friends who are DA's in Dallas County because this unfairly reflects on them and tarnishes their accomplishments to those who don't live in Dallas County. My only hope is that they will be more prudent and fair in their prosecutions.

Unfortunately, my experiences in Dallas County have not shown this entirely. Under Bill Hill, the DA's office was reluctant, at best, to provide any exculpatory evidence without a fight. There was certainly not an open file policy. And they would rarely dismiss a prosecution despite overwhelming exculpatory evidence or a weak case. They would often lose but at least they went down fighting.

This mess has cost untold people their freedom, money fighting foolish prosecutions, and taxpayers precious funds that could go to much better uses. One of those could be raises for the DA's who serve in Dallas County.

My only hope is that Craig Watkins changes the tide in the Dallas County office. Perhaps we can get a more civilized DA's office in order?

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