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Craig Watkins, a former Dallas County District Attorney, has passed away at the age of 56.
Reportedly, the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed his death Tuesday evening but didn’t provide the cause of death.
Watkins, a Dallas native, was widely known for his endeavors to reinstate trust in the office through the creation of the first Conviction Integrity Unit and his emphasis on prosecuting sexual offenders.
Watkins made history in 2007 as the first Black man to be elected district attorney in Dallas County after a career in and public defense and private practice.
According to NBC5, Dallas County DA’s office achieved a 99.4% conviction rate under Watkins leadership, which reviewed more than 300 cases and helped free 25 wrongly convicted inmates. The creation of the Conviction Integrity Unit led to Watkins being named one of Governing Magazines Public Officials of the Year in 2008.
He was a student of Dallas Independent School District, graduated from Prairie View A&M University, and went on to Texas Wesleyan University in Fort Worth to study law.
After Watkins passing, his three children and wife Tanya will carry on his legacy. Funeral arrangements have not been announced yet.
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