Gov. Rick Perry signed the Michael Morton Act into law Thursday, praising the bipartisan legislation — passed unanimously in both houses — for “making our system more fair and helping prevent wrongful convictions.”
“We are known as a law and order state. As such, we have never been easy on those who have been convicted of a crime,” Perry said as cameras clicked and Morton and key legislators stood in a row behind him.
“With that tradition, however, comes a very powerful responsibility to make sure our judicial process is transparent and it’s as open as humanly possible,” Perry said. “This is a major victory for integrity and fairness in our judicial system.”
The law, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2014, will require Texas prosecutors to create an “open file” policy for sharing certain documents and information with defense lawyers before trial.
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