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Editorial: Wrongful convictions

Today's editorial, "Protect the Innocent," revisits an issue we've tackled before in editorials and in-depth story projects -- flaws in the criminal justice system that can lead to wrongful convictions and the imprisonment of the innocent.

That's not an academic argument. Western New Yorkers confronted the reality of this tragedy with the release in recent years of Lynn DeJac and Anthony Capozzi from imprisonment on serious crimes they didn't commit. In Capozzi's case, the wrongful conviction let Altemio Sanchez prey upon women in this community for years.

What's needed are reforms state government should quickly enact -- rules to improve witness identification procedures, the taping of interrogations in felony cases, increasing prisoner access to DNA testing and preserving evidence.

There's also more on this topic at the Web sites for The Innocence Project and The Center on Wrongful Convictions.  The reader info guide accompanying the editorial also has snail-mail, phone, Fax and e-mail contact information for the governor and key legislators Sen. Eric Schneiderman and Assemlyman Joseph Lentol.

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