Anyone out there knowing a DA supporting the death penalty as a secure means of doling out proper justice in the US might do well to send him/her the information flyer showing the topics being discussed in Houston this August. You won’t read about them at the pro-death penalty campaign occurring for Prop 66 in California. This article links (via a .pdf) to the inflammatory language of promises for a better world as “reasoning” used by its proponents. In addition, Monday’s New York Times has an editorial calling out prosecutors as being protected from consequences when they infringe citizens’ rights to fair trials. Prop 66’s premise (if you read the .pdf) is that “some” of these protections are a “nuisance.”
See a summary of the Houston meeting below:
The Houston Forensic Science Center is hosting a symposium as part of its celebration of National Forensic Science Week. The symposium will include two panel discussions designed to bring attention to some of the biggest issues in the forensic community today. The first panel includes an exoneree who faced two execution dates for six murders he didn’t commit. It will address the national issue of drug exonerations resulting from faulty field testing and laboratory backlogs and how this impacts minority communities. This panel will discuss the practical and ethical challenges faced by attorneys representing individuals arrested on drug charges based on faulty field tests and addresses the new procedures established to prevent wrongful convictions in the future. The second panel will tackle the national rape kit backlog, the challenges laboratories face when eliminating the backlogs and the obstacles rape victims face due to these hurdles. This panel will also provide guidance for attorneys handling cases involving DNA evidence. Debbie Smith, a sexual assault survivor, will share her story as the keynote speaker. Ms. Smith is the founder of H-E-A-R-T, Hope Exists After Rape Trauma, and the 2004 federal act that provides forensic laboratories with funding to battle DNA backlogs, is named for her. Tom Allen, HFSC’s general counsel, will provide a morning overview of the Michael Morton Act, and its legal benefits and challenges.