Innocence Commission Back in Lege

Ellis renews quest to create independent commission to examine wrongful conviction cases

Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, renewed his quest to create a Texas Innocence Commission with the Jan. 22 filing of SB 263, which would create an independent commission to examine cases of wrongful conviction, in an attempt to identify causes and recommend ways to keep the innocent out of prison. Ellis filed similar legislation before – in both 2003 and 2005 – but it ultimately languished in committee.

Ellis also filed SB 262, which would increase the amount of state-paid compensation available to the wrongly convicted. Under current statute, victims of wrongful incarceration are eligible for up to $25,000 for each year spent behind bars, up to a cap of $500,000. Under SB 262, the cap on compensation would be lifted, and victims of wrongful imprisonment would be eligible for $50,000 for each year spent in prison, or $100,000 for each year spent on death row.

"Enough is enough," Ellis said in a press release. "Day after day, week after week, we learn of more innocent Texans who have had their lives torn from them in tragic error," he continued. "We need to do more to help these Texans rebuild their shattered lives."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Rodney Ellis, innocence commission, wrongful incarceration, wrongful conviction, SB 262, SB 263

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle