The Silver Lining

Radley Balko celebrates the reelection of Dallas County, Texas, District Attorney Craig Watkins.

Watkins is a former defense attorney who in 2006 took over one of the most notoriously ruthless DA offices in the country. He’s also the first African-American DA in Texas history. Watkins set up a special unit within DA’s office whose sole charge was to find innocent people who had been convicted by the prosecutors who previously occupied the office. It’s probably of no coincidence, then, that Dallas County leads every county in the country (and most states) in exonerations. Watson actually had critics, who argued that it wasn’t a prosecutors job to free the wrongly convicted. So it was good to see Dallas voters give him their approval, if only by a slim margin.