| News |

When "Uh, Sorry, Man" Just Won't Cut It

Craig Watkins is apologizing to folks exonerated by DNA evidence. He might be very, very busy...
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

New Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins is making it a practice to shake hands with and apologize to those folks who have been exonerated through DNA tests -- which has happened twice since he took office only last month. With The Dallas Morning News today reporting that his office will join the attorneys of James Curtis Giles in reversing his wrongful conviction in a gang rape, it looks like Watkins is going to be spending a lot of time apologizing for the former actions of Dallas law enforcement.

Nobody can call this conviction a simple mistake or "misidentification." According to the Assistant District Attorney Terri Moore, prosecutors never turned over information, as mandated by law, to Giles' attorney before his trial in 1983 that another man -- James Earl Giles -- had been identified as the true rapist. DNA testing recently proved that James Curtis Giles was not the culprit.

So far, 13 men have been cleared through post-conviction DNA testing in Dallas County. Though all but two men were prosecuted under former District Attorney Henry Wade, the office of ex-District Attorney Bill Hill didn't cover itself with glory in handling the appeals requesting tests.

On parole since 1993, Giles now lives in Lubbock and must register as a sex offender. An attorney with the Innocence Project of Texas told Dallas' Only Daily he'd have no comment until his exoneration hearing -- when, presumably, Watkins will be standing next to him with his hand extended.

But how do you say, "So sorry about those 10 years you spent in prison for something you didn't do"? So sorry about that label of "gang rapist" that you've lived with since 1983. And shouldn't the police investigator, identified by the District Attorney's Office as Carol Hovey, and lead prosecutor Mike O'Connor be standing next to him? --Glenna Whitley

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.