New Ohio coalition calls for criminal justice reform


A report delivered to Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland last week by leaders from across the state’s criminal justice system calls for lawmakers to address wrongful convictions with a package of reforms proven to prevent injustice. The report, delivered by the state’s head public defender, a former attorney general and the director of the Ohio Innocence Project, suggests statewide standards for evidence preservation, eyewitness identification procedures, recording of interrogations and crime lab oversight.

"We need to establish additional safeguards to make sure this stuff doesn't happen here," said former Attorney General Jim Petro, a Republican who while in office pushed for DNA testing that freed a man wrongfully convicted of rape and murder.

Ohio Public Defender Tim Young agreed. "Make a list of the worst things that can happen in life, and being locked in prison for a crime you didn't do is near the top of that list. We have a fundamental responsibility, especially with DNA evidence, to make sure justice was done."

Read the full article, and view maps of other reforms passed around the country to address and prevent wrongful convictions

. (Columbus Dispatch, 02/24/2008)

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