In the Orlando Sentinel, Dean R. Alex Acosta is quoted on the threat underfunding for the state court system can pose on wrongful convictions.
R. Alexander Acosta is the Dean of the College of Law at Florida International University. A native of Miami, Dean Acosta earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his law degree from Harvard Law School. After serving as a law clerk to Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., then a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Dean Acosta practiced law at the law firm of Kirkland and Ellis and taught at the George Mason School of Law. Most recently, Dean Acosta became the longest serving U.S. Attorney in South Florida since the 1970s, sitting as the senate-confirmed United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, which carries one of the busiest trial calendars in the nation. He currently serves on the Florida Innocence Commission, a 23-member commission, made up of judges, politicians, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and other criminal justice professionals.
Innocence Commission holds final meeting in Orlando
ORLANDO — At their final meeting Monday, members of Florida’s Innocence Commission warned that if funding for the state court system remains at current levels, more innocent people could be convicted and locked up.
“If we are serious about reducing wrongful convictions, underfunding is the single, greatest threat,” said Alex Acosta, panel member and dean of Florida International University’s College of Law.
The 25-member blue-ribbon panel was created by the Florida Supreme Court in 2010 to spend two years studying ways to prevent wrongful convictions.
In Florida, a dozen men, most locked up for more than 20 years, have been exonerated and released from prison after DNA proved they were innocent. Nationwide, the number is 292.