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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

D'Alemberte petitions state Supreme Court for Innocence Commission



Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte -- a former state lawmaker, president of the American Bar Association and FSU President -- filed a petition with the Florida Supreme Court this afternoon asking the high court to create an organization to investigate wrongful convictions.

"I think it's just strange to see all the recent exonerations and not try to learn something about the mistakes we've been making," he said in an interview.

The petition, signed by 60 lawyers, including some former state Supreme Court justices, wants to create the Florida Actual Innocence Commission modeled off the system in North Carolina by the same name. The idea is not new but D'Alemberte cites the recent cases of Alan Crotzer, Wilton Dedge and nine others who were exonerated after initially being convicted. It also come a day after the Florida Innocence Project announced its had new evidence to clear a Polk County man.

D'Alemberte, a prominent Tallahassee attorney, had harsh words for the Florida Bar Association, who he feels needs to do more to police the lawyers involved in these cases. "I am shocked the Bar hasn't opened ethical inquiries into these recent cases," he said. "I'm surprised they haven't shown more interest in the way the criminal justice system works."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:09pm]


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