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Wrongfully Convicted Voice Support for Legislation to Reduce Errors

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Men who were wrongfully convicted and spent years in prison are speaking out on behalf of state legislation they say will reduce such errors. From Sacramento, Jenny O'Mara reports the three bills cleared a key policy committee on Tuesday.

Harold Hall was eighteen years old when he was accused of a double-murder and rape he didn’t commit. He says he confessed after hours of police questioning and was sent to state prison.

Hall : It was a long nineteen years. But I knew that I would always get out. I knew that I was innocent. I just didn't know when I would get out.

One bill Hall supports would require electronic recording of an entire interrogation. Supporters say that would deter forced confessions. Another bill would suggest new guidelines for eyewitness testimony.

Opponents of the changes defend current police practices. They say the process already has safeguards to protect the innocent. A third bill would require additional evidence when using a jailhouse informant.

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