Q. If you could improve on one area of law education, what would it be?
A. We are working on innocence. Each session, the Court of Criminal Appeals gets $20 million in legal education funding from the Legislature. This year we got the Legislature to set aside a different pot of money ... to provide education in the use of DNA, how to deal with recantations, eyewitnesses and prosecutorial misconduct. Texas is getting onboard with the new science and is way ahead of some states, but there is still a long way to go.
Q. Have innocence-related projects met with resistance?
A. It is not so much resistance as apprehension and fear. Some police departments might feel (if convicts are exonerated) the public will think they are doing crappy work. All segments of the system are afraid they will be blamed, but they are coming onboard.
On that score, at least, there's some good news:
Q. How do you see the legal profession changing in the next 20 years?
A. About 65 percent of the trial dockets are criminal, and I don't see that going down. I think we will see more public defender officers.