I’ll be leading a panel discussion on “How to Prevent and Remediate Wrongful Convictions.”  Kirk Bloodworth, the innocent man highlighted in the last chapter of my book who was convicted of capital murder and later exonerated by DNA evidence, will join us for the presentation.  Also on the panel will be Dan Medwed, Law Professor at Northeastern University, Scott McNamara, a D.A. in New York state, and Dan Satterberg, the DA in Seattle.  It should be a very interesting panel discussion.  Here’s the flyer:

This was partly due to my being unaware of the extent of his efforts, although I do recall his lobbying legislators with us, and I definitely remember that he gave me his full support.  Most notably, I recall a conversation I had with Kirk about key legislators who had complained to him about how much I was promoting the bill, and who put pressure on the Attorney General’s Office to try to get us to back off.
One of the things these lawmakers didn’t like was the part of the bill that provided for monetary assistance for people who had been wrongfully convicted, sent to prison, and later exonerated.  The implication from their conversations with Kirk was that if we continued to push the bill, the Attorney General’s budget might be negatively impacted.
I knew that this was not an idle threat, because the Legislature controlled the Attorney General’s budget.  I asked Kirk whether he was asking me to back off in my efforts to get the bill passed, and he said “no.”  It meant a lot to me that Kirk was willing to stand firm in what he thought was the right thing to do, despite that kind of political pressure.  And it allowed me to continue promoting the bill with the full support of our office.
I made an effort in the book to give credit where credit was due, but in this instance, I fell short of that mark.  Thanks, Kirk, Wade and Ken.  There is no question that you all played significant roles in making innocence reforms happen in Utah.

In Chapter 24, in which I discuss my involvement in the innocence movement, I talk about a letter I sent to President Obama in 2009 urging him to direct federal law enforcement agencies to record custodial interrogations of suspects.  Some have expressed interest in seeing the letter, so here it is: