Craig Watkins

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Craig Watkins
District Attorney of Dallas County, Texas
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 1, 2007
Preceded by Bill Hill
Personal details
Born Craig Marcus Watkins[1]
(1967-11-16) November 16, 1967 (age 46)[2]
Dallas, Texas, United States
Nationality United States
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Tanya Watkins
Alma mater Prairie View A&M University, Texas Wesleyan University School of Law
Occupation Lawyer
Religion Baptist
Website http://www.dallasda.com/

Craig Marcus Watkins (born November 16, 1967) is the district attorney for the Dallas County, Texas in the United States. He became the first African American district attorney in Texas when he was elected in 2006.[3]

Education[edit]

A 1986 graduate of David W. Carter High School of Dallas,[4] Watkins graduated from Prairie View A&M University in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in political science and was part of the 1994 inaugural graduating class of the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law.[5][6] He is also a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.[7]

Career[edit]

Three times the Dallas County District Attorney's office rejected Watkins's bids to be a prosecutor. Watkins thus began his legal career working in the offices of the Dallas city attorney and public defender and later went into private practice as an attorney and was a licensed bail bondsman. In 2002, Watkins ran for district attorney against incumbent Republican Bill Hill and lost.[8] Watkins won the 2006 district attorney election over prosecutor Toby Shook in an election cycle where Democrats swept all judge seats also.[9]

The official biography of Watkins written by his office writes that Watkins has secured a 99.4% conviction rate and has focused on prosecuting cases of child sexual abuse.[10] Watkins has worked to resolve cases of wrongful conviction through the use of DNA testing and the review of evidence illegally withheld from defense attorneys.[3][11] On January 4, 2011, Ray Suarez interviewed Watkins live on the PBS NewsHour for the exoneration by Watkins's office of Cornelius Dupree from Dupree's armed robbery conviction.[12]

The Dallas Morning News selected Watkins as its 2008 Texan of the Year.[13]


Public records indicate that Watkins' yearly salary as of May 2012 was $125,000.[1]


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Craig Marcus Watkins's Salary". Texas Tribune. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ Texas birth index
  3. ^ a b Forsyth, Jennifer; Eaton, Leslie (2008-11-15). "The Exonerator: The Dallas D.A. is Reviewing Old Cases, Freeing Prisoners — and Riling His Peers". Wall Street Journal. 
  4. ^ "Notable Dallasites". Dallas Public Library. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ Timms, Ed; Emily, Jennifer, and Jeffers, Gromer Jr. (July 16, 2011). "After acclaim for exoneree work, Dallas DA Craig Watkins taking hits". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ Blumenthal, Ralph (June 3, 2007). "For Dallas, New Prosecutor Means an End to the Old Ways". New York Times. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  7. ^ Crain, Zac. "The Last Temptation of Craig Watkins". D Magazine. p. 2. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ Hennessy-Fiske, Molly (May 8, 2012). "Dallas County district attorney a hero to the wrongfully convicted". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ Zeeble, Bill (November 8, 2006). "Dallas Dems Sweep DA and Judgeships". KERA. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Meet the DA". Dallas County District Attorney. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  11. ^ 60 Minutes Profile (May 4, 2008)
  12. ^ Suarez, Ray (January 4, 2011). "Convicted Texas Man Cleared by DNA Test After 30 Years in Prison". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved February 22, 2013.  Video available on YouTube.
  13. ^ "The Dallas Morning News Names District Attorney Craig Watkins as 2008 Texan of the Year". 

External links[edit]