Inaugural Meeting of Integrity Unit
Following a "meet & greet" session at the Capitol, the Texas Criminal Justice Integrity Unit (TCJIU) held its first meeting today in the Court of Criminal Appeals' courtroom. Judge Hervey opened the day's events with a clear message: "First and foremost, we need to educate everyone in the Texas criminal justice system with an eye toward improvement and to get everyone on the same page."
Attending today's meeting were several of Judge Hervey's colleagues, the TCJIU members, various criminal justice representatives, legislative representatives, and media personnel. Speakers included Senator Rodney Ellis, Barry Scheck, Craig Watkins, and Jim Bethke. The courtroom was full for this inaugural meeting, demonstrating the interest and support for the unit. The meeting covered goals the group intends to accomplish in the coming months, through education and legislative reform.
Some of the identified areas of concern included:
- DNA lab reliability
- Eyewitness identification/videotaped confessions
- Collection, preservation, and storage of evidence
- Innocence clinics
- Writ process
- Public defenders
- Indigent representation/exoneree compensation
Public comment, suggestions, and criticism were welcomed and all members of the TCJIU were encouraged to commit to action.