Complete coverage of the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature.

Watkins: Texas Should Pass Racial Justice Act

By NOMAAN MERCHANT
|  Monday, Jan 21, 2013  |  Updated 1:26 PM CDT
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Watkins: Texas Should Pass Racial Justice Act

Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins

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The Dallas prosecutor who built a reputation for freeing wrongfully convicted inmates says he has a new idea to advance criminal justice reform: a statewide bill that would allow defendants to appeal convictions and sentences on the basis of race.

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said in a recent interview that he wants Texas to consider a racial justice act. He says an act might allow defendants to introduce different forms of evidence to argue their prosecutions or sentence were influenced in some way by race.

He says it's an issue of fairness for all.

But in a Legislature that could be one of the most conservative in history, it's unclear whether such an idea would have support.

Two states have passed racial justice acts.

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