Texas Supreme Court Justice Wants Commission on Wrongful Convictions

March 8, 2013

State Supreme Court Justice Wallace Jefferson says a rash of wrongful convictions in Texas may raise questions about an overall deficit of justice statewide.

Jefferson is chief judge of the state’s high civil court. Addressing the Legislature Wednesday, he said that over the last 25 years, 117 Texans have been exonerated – 47 due to DNA testing, the most nationwide.

Jefferson said that wrongful convictions “leave us with the distinct impression that we today suffer from a systemic deficit” in how criminal justice is administered.

He renewed his previous calls for a state commission to investigate exonerations.

Jefferson also said the state’s legal system is “top notch,” but only for those who can afford legal services. He said Texas ranks 48th nationwide in per capita funding for indigent defense.

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