SocraticGadfly: Watkins says lock up rogue DAs

May 04, 2008

Watkins says lock up rogue DAs

Craig Watkins, the Dallas County district attorney, agrees with me and then some.

I blogged earlier this week that unethical prosecutors ought to have to publicly apologize to wrongfully convicted persons when they are set free. Watkins, the district attorney who is making a name for himself by actively collaborating with Innocence Project of Texas to free a number of wrongfully convicted felons, wants to go much further on prosecutors who deliberately withhold exculpatory evidence from defense attorneys. MUCH further.

Mandatory disbarment. The possibility of criminal sanctions. (Texas, unlike some states, doesn’t have a criminal punishment for “Brady law” violations.)

State Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston backs him up. Ellis, who proposed the state law to compensate the wrongfully convicted, says the amount of payouts show just how big a problem it is.

Plus, the State Bar of Texas is, to put it politely, a piece of crap. It makes even the Texas Medical Association look tough, and that’s hard to do.

So, for the other DAs across Texas who disagree with Watkins, you’re just wrong. It is NOT an overreaction, which Williamson County DA John Bradley claimed.

Then you have Toby Shook, Watkins’ GOP opponent in 2006, who says Brady violators should be in prison but Brady violations should not be incarcerated.

Thank doorknob you weren’t elected. James Lee Woodard would probably still be in prison.

No comments: