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Two Weeks Before Its Debut, Dallas DNA Is Already Raising Some Ethical Questions

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins as seen in Dallas DNA, which begins airing April 28
Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins as seen in Dallas DNA, which begins airing April 28
Shaul Schwarz / Getty Images for Investigation Discovery

Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch blog wonders this morning, "Is DNA exoneration too real for reality TV?" The show in question, of course, is Dallas DNA, Investigation Discovery's six-part series about Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins, his office's Conviction Integrity Unit and the use of DNA to free those who've been wrongly imprisoned.

EW poses its question following this USA Today story about the series, which bows April 28, in which one legal expert -- Rob Warden, executive director of Northwestern University's Center on Wrongful Convictions -- wonders whether the series will, as the newspaper puts it, "exploit the suffering of victims -- including the wrongly convicted -- in the name of entertainment." Says Warden, "I wholeheartedly favor calling attention to the innocence movement, and I'm delighted with what Craig Watkins has done while in office, but there are ethical obstacles that have to be negotiated very carefully." Discovery's trailer for the series, which debuted online last week, follows.


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