Dallas Exonerations Move Past DNA-Only
By BJ Austin, KERA News
Dallas, TX – Dallas County has more DNA exonerations of wrongfully-convicted people than any other county in the nation, plus three cleared without DNA. KERA's BJ Austin says those types of cases are now getting attention from the District Attorney.
Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins says DNA testing opened the door for review of other potentially faulty convictions. Watkins says this week's exoneration of 39 year old Stephen Brodie is an example.
Watkins: This is another case where we can look at confessions, and how they're taken. And we can use this as a model, as a tool to make sure going forward we don't make those same mistakes.
Brodie, who is deaf, confessed to the kidnap and sexual assault of a five year old girl in Richardson in 1990. But Brodie's current attorney says half of his interrogation by police was done without a sign language interpreter. And, his attorneys were never told about the fingerprint of a convicted child molester found at the scene.
A judge exonerated Brodie on Monday, but a paperwork delay kept him in jail another day.
Brodie's father, 75 year old Steve says Dallas County's conviction integrity unit is setting the pace for others.
Brodie: Places like Houston are beginning to have a conviction integrity unit. New York City has started one, and it's good to see.
Stephen Brodie says he plans to return to his former job on a ranch, working with horses and cattle.