Post by SoulTrainOz on Jul 3, 2006 19:06:59 GMT -5
The Post's June 13 editorial "Widening the Gateway," about the U.S. Supreme Court decision in House v. Bell , reminds us that the federal courthouse doors must remain open to habeas corpus petitions from prisoners who may have been wrongly convicted or sentenced. Unfortunately, the Streamlined Procedures Act and similar proposals pending in Congress would prevent the federal courts from hearing these petitions, including that of Paul House, who is facing the death penalty and whose claim of innocence is based on DNA evidence.
I am proud that, when I was FBI director, the bureau instituted the nation's first forensic DNA testing program. But I was stunned and amazed to discover the extent to which DNA testing proved other forensic tests wrong. In a criminal case, we must do everything we can to make sure that we have the guilty party in custody and that we do not mistakenly ensnare the innocent. Closing the federal courthouse doors will do just the opposite.
WILLIAM S. SESSIONS----Washington (source: Letter to the Editor, Washington Post)