Innocence-Related Bills

Of the innocence related bills brought forth, H.B. 498 established an innocence commission advisory board (the Timothy Cole Innocence Commission) in which in the event of a wrongful conviction, along with the assistance of the Task Force on Indigent Defense, to conduct a study and arrange a statement focused on the prevention of wrongful convictions. Along with H.B. 498, “S.B. 1091 established a capital writs office to handle writs in death penalty appeals.” “This bill was designed to help ensure that competent attorneys are appointed to help indigent defendants with writs of habeas corpus for death sentences.” “S.B. 1681 added Article 38.075, Code of Criminal Procedure, to require corroboration before a person can be convicted on the testimony of a jailhouse informant.” According to the Tim Cole Act, H.B. 1736 states that an increased payment and service will be available to those who have been wrongfully accused. This bill allows compensation of $80,000 per year of unjust imprisonment and $25,000 per year each served on parole or as a registered sex offender. Along with compensation, benefits such as dental and medical care, education, and reentry services are offered to the individual.

Undoubtfully, countless hours were spent debating these Criminal Justice Bills. These Bills stand in place to protect the individual from unjust practice, protect the innocent from dangerous activity, and gives the government guidelines as to how far a power/ decision can be enforced.

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