StandDown Texas Project

The StandDown Texas Project identifies and advocates best practices in the criminal justice system. To stand down is to go off duty temporarily, especially to review safety procedures. That is what Texas needs to do with its death penalty.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

California creates criminal justice study commission

In late August, the California Senate authorized the creation of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice. Commission members will be appointed by the Senate Rules Committee. The Commission will be charged with examining the state's criminal justice system to determine how it has failed in the past to prevent wrongful convictions. The Commission will recommend improvements and safeguards designed to prevent innocent men and women from ending up as victims of the criminal justice system, and enhance the reliability of convictions and sentences.

In the wake of a moratorium on executions in Illinois, Governor George Ryan appointed a commission in that state that recommended 85 fixes, ranging from police investigative procedures through the clemency process to strenghten Illinois' criminal justice system.

One of the more significant recommendations of the Illinois panel is being adopted by law enforcement agencies across the nation; videotaping interrogations of persons in custody. Police and sheriffs are finding it an effective tool for convicting the guilty.

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