NC House Approves Widening Innocence Panel's Power

North Carolina lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a trio of crime bills that cover issues ranging from freeing the wrongfully convicted more quickly to making it harder for confessed criminals to change their stories.

The House voted 109-4 on Tuesday to allow the Innocence Inquiry
Commission to force people who have information about a case to
testify. The commission could protect someone who lied in court in a case that sent an innocent person to prison from being prosecuted
for that perjury.

The House voted 112-1 to give lawyers the right to see death row
inmates the same day a court rules on the inmate's appeal.

A third measure would clarify that pleading guilty to a crime limits the chances to appeal later.


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