From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
March 14, 2005
Contact: Jeremy Warren, (512) 463-0113

Senator Rodney Ellis Statement on Perry Criminal Justice Advisory Council

(Austin)// -- Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) today released the following statement regarding the Governor Rick Perry's announcement of the creation of the Criminal Justice Advisory Council:

""I know that the integrity of the Texas criminal justice system is one of the Governor's highest priorities. In 1999 we worked closely to pass an indigent criminal defense plan that was ultimately vetoed by Governor Bush. In 2001, Governor Perry signed the Fair Defense Act, DNA testing, and legislation to provide compensation to the wrongfully incarcerated.

"The creation of the Criminal Justice Advisory Council demonstrates Governor Perry's commitment to address the need for improvements to our criminal justice system. I believe it is an excellent start toward getting to the bottom of miscarriages of justice. I have filed legislation, SB 1033, to create an Innocence Commission and I am still committed to passing that bill.

"I look forward to talking and working with Governor Perry in the weeks ahead to ensure that Texans have a criminal justice system that provides them with the protection that they deserve and is instilled with the fairness and integrity that justice demands."