Opinion: Thousands of innocent Americans have gone to prison. How can lawmakers right those wrongs?
Excerpt from The San Diego Union-Tribune
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Working with the California Innocence Project opened my eyes to the hardships that exonerated people face, both while serving in the prison system and once exonerated and set free. Together with the help of the California Innocence Project, I introduced two bills that were later signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown to make things better.
These bills received unanimous support in both the Senate and Assembly.
It’s uncomfortable to confront the imperfections of the justice system, and I’m proud of the bipartisan work we’ve done to right some of the wrongs of the past. It’s unfair that exonerated people put their trust in the system to prove their innocence, only for it to fail them. And, importantly, if the wrong person is serving time, the real perpetrator is out there harming our community.
That’s why policymakers need to make sure that we are working with partner organizations such as the California Innocence Project to identify opportunities where the system can be improved.