Senator Rodney Ellis on DNA Exoneration of Michael Anthony Green
(Houston, TX)// Michael Anthony Green was cleared of a 1983 rape yesterday with the use of DNA evidence. Mr. Green was imprisoned for 27 years - the longest time of imprisonment for an innocent Texan to date. Mr. Green was scheduled to be released today, but his release has been delayed for another day. Senator Ellis issues the following statement:
"I want to extend my sincere apologies to Mr. Green and his loved ones for this extreme miscarriage of justice. I hope that he is able to live his life as a free man with some semblance of peace and normalcy.
I also want to commend District Attorney Pat Lykos and Mr. Green's attorney, Bob Wicoff, for working together to correct this injustice. Two exonerations in the past two weeks speaks volumes about what is wrong with our criminal justice system. Fortunately, it also demonstrates that the Post Conviction Review Section of the Harris County District Attorney's office, created by D.A. Lykos, is doing something right.
Currently, Texas has the unfortunate distinction of having the highest number of exonerations in the nation. I fully believe that more exonerations will be revealed as additional cases are re-investigated.
Last session I sponsored legislation creating the Tim Cole Advisory Panel. That panel was charged with studying the factors that lead to wrongful convictions and making recommendations on how to improve our criminal justice system to prevent these wrongful convictions on the front end. The release of the report is expected to occur sometime late next month. However, I suspect that our state has a continuing need for an independent body to review these cases, so I want to stress the importance of creating a state Innocence Commission so the state can be proactive in preventing another innocent person from going to prison."