Exonerations make good television

Some of the most popular shows on television are crime dramas. In almost all cases, the stories focus on teams of intrepid investigators using wit, guile, and technology to capture bad guys.

Now there’s a new show on the air. But it’s not fiction, and the bad guys — if there are any — have already been caught.

Dallas DNA focuses on the work of investigators to clear — or confirm — the convictions of men who claim to be innocent. The series was inspired by the work of the Conviction Integrity Unit, formed after Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins took office in January 2007.

If the series is successful, perhaps more crime dramas will focus on the innocent, rather than the guilty.