FL Supreme Court Appoints Former Judge to Head Innocence Commission

Two weeks ago, the Florida Supreme Court ordered the formation of an official Innocence Commission. From the Administrative Order:

NOW, THEREFORE, the Florida Innocence Commission is hereby established to conduct a comprehensive study of the causes of wrongful conviction and of measures to prevent such convictions. In conducting its work, the Commission may review individual cases involving a wrongful conviction where innocence has already been officially acknowledged, to determine the cause of these wrongful convictions. Such review may include the examination of documents and the interview of individuals involved in the cases. However, unproven innocence claims will not be reviewed.


The Commission may hold public meetings, review existing research, contract for new research, and solicit comment from scholars, judges, state attorneys, law enforcement, private defense attorneys, public defenders, elected officials, victims’ organizations, and members of the public.

Some history, via the Supreme Court:

Earlier, a group of Florida lawyers petitioned the Supreme Court to create an Innocence Commission. In March 2010, the Court Denied the petition. A related letter to Sen. Mike Haridopolis was released. On May 24, 2010, the Court advertised for the position of Executive Director of the Commission.

Today the Court named former Judge Lester Garringer to head the commission.

[hat tip to The Innocence Project on Twitter.]

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    Innocence Commission in Florida (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by lsoury on Sat Jul 24, 2010 at 06:54:17 PM EST
    Some states have established  innocence commissions with North Carolina being the only one that has been empowered to look at current cases. The causes of wrongful convictions have been studied and studied with little change in interrogation techniques, suspect identification or mandatory DNA testing in most jurisdictions.

    Local prosecutors and police will not change and will continue to seek prosecutions and convictions with little regard to justice. It is the judiciary and the legislatures that must take a stand to prevent over prosecutions and wrongful convictions. False confession experts must be qualified as expert witnesses in case where there is a questionable "confession." And, the Department of Justice should empower a national commission to look at wrongful convictions.

    Lonnie Soury, Falseconfessions.org

    Here's hoping Florida has better luck than Texas (none / 0) (#1)
    by Rojas on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 02:11:39 PM EST
    The legde created a forensnics sciences comission to review simalar matters but the govenor was able to wrest control away via appointment power. We now have Darth Vader running things and he has ensured that the force be with those who have made a mockery of science.

    and yet it still moves...

    Should not this type of govt commission (none / 0) (#2)
    by BTAL on Wed Jul 14, 2010 at 07:01:44 PM EST
    be the action of a legislative or executive branch, even at the state level?