The House Judiciary Committee, on which I sit, has recommended adopting rules that law officers would have to follow when conducting eyewitness lineups. A state judicial commission on innocence proposed the changes a few years ago after evidence showed that lineups were often faulty and failed to reveal the actual criminals. In 75% of cases, when DNA evidence resulted in the convictions being overturned, there had been faulty identification. Some law enforcement trainers have taught officers the revised methods recommended by the commission, but they aren't obligated to. House Bill 1625 would require the training and use of the procedures, such as presenting the suspects or their pictures one at a time rather than all together, and having an officer not involved in the investigation conduct the lineup.
The state Department of Justice has unveiled an updated sex offender registry Web site to help people better track people convicted of sex crimes. The new site allows users to register to receive e-mail alerts when a sex offender moves in a neighborhood or near a school and to view maps that show where sex offenders live within a 5-mile radius of a specific address. A person also can receive emails about a specific offender. State law requires people convicted of sex-related crimes register with a local sheriff, and the online registry provides information about the criminal, including a photo.
Support for the death penalty appears to be waning in