How Much Is Innocence Worth?
Beginning on page 138 of today's agenda for the Dallas County Commissioner's Court meeting you'll find Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins' request for some $823,000 with which he'll keep funding the county's efforts to use DNA evidence to free the wrongly convicted. That figure is for two years' worth of salaries -- which the commissioners decided today is a small price to pay to keep operational the Conviction Integrity Unit, which has provided invaluable positive PR for the county (and, sure, Watkins) in recent months. The county also gets money, with which to conduct the DNA testing, from the Justice, Equality, Human dignity and Tolerance Foundation ($457,600) and the Innocence Project of Texas ($36,000). --Robert Wilonsky