Reform in 2019
State Policy Changes in 2019
1. New York, Virginia, and Michigan improved rules requiring prosecutors to share evidence with defendants before a trial or plea offer.
2. Michigan and Nevada established the statutory right to re-open a conviction based on problems with forensic science.
3. Connecticut, Nebraska, and Illinois passed laws to track incentivized jailhouse informant testimony and evaluate informant reliability before trial.
4. California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Virginia improved police practices for eyewitness identification procedures.
5. Nevada and Oklahoma mandated electronic recording of police interrogations.
6. Indiana, Nevada ,and Ohio created or improved laws to financially compensate exonerated people.
7. Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Oregon made more people eligible for post-conviction DNA testing.
8. Kansas created the nation’s first closed case task force to use new DNA testing results to identify closed cases that might be wrongful convictions.
Looking to 2020
In 2020, we’re working in 40 states to change laws on police practices, access to courts, informant testimony, forensic evidence, accountability for prosecutors, and much more. Across the country, we’ll work with exonerated people, criminal justice stakeholders, and others to reduce the risk of wrongful conviction and improve the fairness and accuracy of the system for all.
Educating the Courts
We trained judges, public defenders, forensic practitioners, scientists, and academic experts on eyewitness identification, cognitive bias, litigating false confessions, and the use of unreliable forensic evidence and testimony in court.