by Alan McBride
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. -- The Innocence Commission, created by the state's Supreme Court, has issued a report on factors that contribute to wrongful convictions of innocent people here in Florida.
One of the leading causes, officials said, is insufficient funding for the tasks at hand.
The commission described a tangle of troubles, where lack of funding for the criminal justice system created excessive caseloads, and made it extremely hard to find and train experienced attorneys.
It also made it hard for the state to keep those attorneys.
The panel said the state needed to put more funding into the criminal justice system across the board. Funding should go to courts, prosecutors, public defenders, and crime labs.
The report detailing these concerns was filed Thursday.
The Innocence Commission also noted that mistaken eyewitness identification and issues with scientific evidence contributed greatly to wrongful convictions.
The state's high court had appointed the commission in the wake of evidence that there were mistakes being made in the system.
Most high-profile of these was the exoneration of 13 convicts as the result of DNA re-testing.