Prompted by accusations that people are in prison for crimes they did not commit, Texas' top jurists are supporting a proposal to create a statewide Innocence Commission to investigate wrongful convictions and recommend criminal justice reforms.
Wallace Jefferson, chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court, is specifically calling on state lawmakers to find money for the effort.
Critics, however, have said the current system works well, considering that 33 men have been exonerated -- 17 in Dallas County since 2001 by DNA testing.
Among the critics is Gov. Rick Perry, who has said that an Innocence Commission would be another layer of bureaucracy.
But Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst likes the idea and his staff is already cleared the way for a Senate interim study committee to look into the commission's charge.
Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick expects the commission to be debated in the legislative session that begins next year.
Read more in this report by Staff Writer Max Baker.
-- Bill Miller