“The goal in the Courtroom should be to seek and find the truth, and any person who knowingly stands in the way of that goal ought to be held accountable.”
That is the sentiment of new Member for Plano, Republican Jeff Leach of the Texas House of Representatives. Roger Jones of the Dallas Morning News reports that Rep. Leach has a keen interest in increasing protections against prosecutorial misconduct through the strengthening of mechanisms that will ensure accountability and discipline for prosecutors who compromise their ethical obligations.
Following the resolution of the Michael Morton case and the Court of Inquiry into the conduct of former DA Ken Anderson, it is timely that legislators like Leach are ready to hear reform legislation that addresses the flaws which have allowed multiple Texans to serve time in prison for crimes they did not commit.
The Dallas Morning News reports that Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston is introducing SB 91 – a bill to ensure an open-file policy for prosecutors and the defense, which would compel the state to abide by its constitutional obligations to disclose exculpatory and impeachment evidence.
The Open File will track the movement of this and any other bills that address wrongful convictions or prosecutorial accountability during Texas’s legislative session.