Burnam drops impeachment resolution

I had wondered what would happen with Rep. Lon Burnam's resolution to impeach Sharon Keller, given that we were coming down to the wire and there was a lot of pressing business that needed to be taken care of in a very short period of time. Now I know.

Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, today offered a "personal privilege" speech noting that his resolution calling for the impeachment of Court of Criminal Appeals Justice Sharon Keller is going nowhere this session (which ends Monday).

Burnam's resolution has been pending since April 27 in the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee. In his speech today, Burnam said he chose not to try to use the procedure by which he could have tried to get the votes to bring the resolution to the floor despite the lack of committee action.

But he made it clear he still believes Keller should be removed from office for refusing to keep her court clerk's office open on Sept. 25, 2007 to accept a late filing on behalf of Death Row inmate Michael Wayne Richard, who was executed later that day.


Burnam said if neither state agency causes Keller's removal from office he'll try again in two years if he is re-elected to the House.

Well, I certainly hope that the State Commission on Judicial Conduct has taken some action by then. I know the wheels grind slowly and all, but surely that's not too much to ask. Floor Pass has more.

06/01/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Still talking about a new jail

We're going to be having this conversation for awhile, I expect.

As he attempts to secure a new jail for Harris County, Sheriff Adrian Garcia has hired nearly 90 more guards but still faces skepticism from commissioners about whether a new facility is the only solution to chronic overcrowding and failed inspections.

Garcia argued earlier this month for the construction of a new jail, after the downtown lockups failed a fourth state inspection in six years because of broken toilets and intercoms. He said a new facility would alleviate persistent problems with maintenance and overcrowding at the facilities that house more than 10,000 people.

County and state officials have watched previous plans for a new jail fizzle because of a lack of voter support or the Sheriff's Office's guard shortage. They repeatedly have said other methods must be used to address overcrowding, including modification of bonding and pretrial diversion policies. Recent numbers show that half of the jail's population is made up of people awaiting trial.

"A new jail would have to be a last resort," Commissioner El Franco Lee said last week.

You know where I stand on this. As I wrote when this came up before, I'm open to the idea of a new jail as a replacement for the existing facility, but we absolutely need to deal with the underlying reasons for the overcrowding in the first place before we commit to anything. No plan, no new construction.

The discussion could culminate next month when Commissioner's Court expects to receive a report from Justice Management Institute, which is performing a "top-to-bottom" review of the local criminal justice system. The court also is scheduled to hold its annual meeting to discuss its capital improvements plan.

"Why would we make any decisions until we have all the information?" asked Commissioner Sylvia Garcia. "The last thing we want to do is to put (a new jail) back on the ballot and have it fail again."

Agreed. And I'll be one of those No votes if we haven't moved forward significantly in dealing with things like pretrail services, bail, probation, etc.

Since January, [Sheriff Garcia] has hired 87 civilian jailers and cut openings in patrol, through new hires and transfers within the department, from about 70 to 22, according to Lt. John Legg, a spokesman for the department.

"Summer is a peak recruiting period," Legg said. "We expect June and July to be big months for hiring."

I'm sure it will be, and I've no doubt that the department is a better place to work now than it was last year. Having said that, I'm sure a big driver in this is the economic downturn. It's not like there are a lot of other job openings out there, after all. Which means we need to make sure we can retain these folks when things get better, or else we'll be right back where we started, possibly in a bigger jail with more inmates to guard. And that gets us back to the need to make sure we're not locking up people we don't really have to. Fix that, and the rest takes care of itself.

05/28/09 | permalink | comments [0]

"Just do the test"

Grits points to this NYT article about the next phase of the battle between prosecutors and inmates over innocence claims and DNA testing. I agree with Grits - if some defendants are embarking on fishing expeditions, I say let them fish. It's not like the state never does that, and all it takes is one successful result to justify the practice. The cost can be on the claimant in a contested case if he doesn't have a court order, with the proviso that a result which proves innocence, or at least gets a conviction overturned, can be used to get reimbursement. We've seen way too many innocent men go free, often as the article notes too late to do anything about the real criminal, to continue to play these petty little games. Given that we're unlikely to see a widespread change in attitude among the prosecutorial class, and given the general level of indifference shown to innocence claims by various federal appeals courts and SCOTUS, perhaps federal legislation is needed to make this happen. Maybe Sen. Webb can put that on his to-do list.

05/24/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Mattress Mack is watching you

Be sure to smile for the cameras if you visit the Westchase District.

A West Houston nonprofit group on Tuesday applied for city permission to install the first of a dozen security cameras it plans to purchase to reduce crime in the affluent neighborhood.

Images from the cameras will be fed to the Houston Police Department as part of an ongoing city initiative to assemble a network of hundreds of security cameras to monitor public streets, stadiums, freeways and the Port of Houston.

Calling it a prime example of a private-public partnership for public safety, HPD Assistant Chief Vickie King said the westside initiative is allowed by city ordinance.

"Communities who want to install cameras that capture movements on the public right of way may do so, so long as private property is shielded from view," she said.

The proposed camera system was introduced Tuesday by Houston businessman Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale and his wife, Linda, who live in an apartment at the Westside Tennis and Fitness Center, which they own. McIngvale said he became a fan of camera-surveillance technology because it quickly ended auto thefts and burglaries after he installed them at his furniture business.

"Police are stretched on their budgets, so it's something we wanted to do as merchants," said McIngvale, a member of the nonprofit Operation Westside Success, which is raising money for the system. "We've got a big economic stake in this, and it's up to us to make our neighborhoods better."

Dennis Storemski, director of the Mayor's Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, said the city has 25 surveillance cameras in the central business district and is using federal grants to tie into state highway-department cameras on Houston freeways, as well as cameras monitoring the Houston Ship Channel and port facilities.

Yes, I remember when the existing downtown cameras became more ubiquitous. At the time, the goal was given as crime reduction as well as better response to emergency calls. While the former is clearly a goal of the Westchase cameras, it's interesting to note that wasn't mentioned here as a function of the downtown cameras. Not sure if that reflects an official shift or just the vagaries of editing, but I thought it was worth pointing out. I also rememher that some folks got all freaked out by the downtown cameras, which were an initiative of HPD Chief Harold Hurtt, who is not mentioned in this story. I wonder if there will be a similar reaction to this.

James Murphy, general manager of the Westchase District, said cameras the improvement district installed on private property outside restaurants and shopping malls led to a dramatic reduction in crime.

"We have 11 cameras we're using, and it's fantastic," Murphy said. "We've reduced parking-lot crime in those locations 70 percent on average, and in some areas more. We're talking about auto theft, auto break-ins and robberies."

Somewhat serendipitously, this story appeared a day after this one, about a study on the CCTV cameras in London.

The use of closed-circuit television in city and town centres and public housing estates does not have a significant effect on crime, according to Home Office-funded research to be distributed to all police forces in England and Wales this summer.

The review of 44 research studies on CCTV schemes by the Campbell Collaboration found that they do have a modest impact on crime overall but are at their most effective in cutting vehicle crime in car parks, especially when used alongside improved lighting and the introduction of security guards.

That seems to jibe with the Westchase experience. As long as they don't see the cameras as a panacea, they ought to get some benefit from them. Thanks to Grits for the link.

05/21/09 | permalink | comments [0]

You there! Put down the Internet and slowly back away!

Hair Balls tries to make sense of a Senate criminal justice bill that is currently in committee in the House.

[The bill,] authored by Republican State Senator Florence Shapiro of Plano seems remarkably straightforward: It prohibits registered sex offenders from "using the Internet to access pornographic material."

It would also establish a means for "a commercial social networking site or Internet service provider" to be provided with a list of said perverts, so such businesses can alert authorities if they're using those sites to prey on kids.

But what got Hair Balls was that first part -- about not allowing these pervs to look at any pornography, or as stated later in the bill, anything deemed "obscene." (The bill refers to the obscenity section of the penal code, which offers different definitions of obscenity, which include simulated sex.) Even though, as everyone knows, there is hardly any sex stuff on the Interweb, how would something like that even be enforced?

What follows is a confused, albeit amusing, exchange between the Press' Craig Malisow and Sen. Shapiro. I couldn't make sense of it, either, but I could find this:

I suppose if you're a registered sex offender, you shouldn't have watched that. Sorry about that.

05/18/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Two for Timothy Cole

On Friday, the House concurred with Senate amendments to HB1736, the Timothy Cole Act that increases compensation to those that have been wrongly convicted. I had said on Monday that it had passed both chambers at that time, but I didn't realize the Senate had added two amendments that needed House approval. That's now been done, so unless I'm missing something else, it should now be on its way to Governor Perry's desk.

Also on Friday, HB498, which creates an Innocence Commission to investigate false convictions and identify reforms to prevent their recurrence, passed the House on third reading. It's now in the Senate's hands for final approval. Grits testified in support of this bill on behalf of the Innocence Project of Texas back in March. The commission would be known as the Timothy Cole Innocence Commission, according to a press release I received from Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, the bill's author. I've reproduced the release beneath the fold. All told, I'd say this has been a pretty decent session for criminal justice reform. There's never enough that gets done, but I get the impression more has been done so far this time than in recent memory. Grits mentions a couple of other worthwhile bills that have made it this far as well.

Continue reading »

05/18/09 | permalink | comments [0]

A response from TAASA to the rape kits story

When I posted about that recent Click2Houston story regarding the sexual assault victim who was billed by the hospital for the rape kit, I wondered if this was a screwup or standard procedure. Well, here's a response to the story from the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) that clears things up.

Recently a Houston television station ran a story about a rape victim who was billed for her own rape exam. The news piece implied this was a common practice in Texas despite being told by several sources, including the Deputy Director of the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA), that this was not the case. This news story, riddled with inaccuracies and half truths, was picked up by other news outlets and blogs and it took on a life of its own. Activists, advocates, survivors and other concerned individuals from around the country were justifiably angry and began to demand answers and action. The problem is there isn't really a problem, just the perception of injustice that is spiraling out of control.

TAASA is concerned that this misinformation will have a chilling effect on a rape victim's willingness to report the crime and get a forensic/medical exam (rape kit). We want to assure everyone that the cost of a forensic exam is not billed to the victim. This is always the responsibility of law enforcement and they in turn can be reimbursed for up to $700 though the Crime Victim's Compensation (CVC) fund. If the cost exceeds this amount it is absorbed by the law enforcement agency or hospital, not the victim.

Additional medical treatment is not part of the forensic exam and billed separately. All crime victims, i.e. rape, gunshot, mugging, etc. are billed for medical treatment. They are eligible to apply for reimbursement of these costs through the CVC fund. The CVC fund is statutorily the "payer of last resort," so if a victim has medical insurance it will be billed first. This is to assure the fiscal integrity of the CVC fund and make certain that funds remain available to crime victims who are uninsured or underinsured. Rape victims are not singled out in this process for reimbursement, it is consistently applied to all crime victims and this process is replicated with few variations across the country.

As with any system there is the possibility of human error. A victim could be misinformed or struggle to make sense of the process. This is the principle reason TAASA believes rape crisis advocates are so valuable to rape victims. Rape crisis advocates are not formally part of the systems or institutions that rape survivors must navigate, but are a valuable ally to victims when they encounter barriers or inconsistencies. I wish the rape victim in the Houston story had an advocate to help her through this very difficult time. Our only interest in this situation is that rape victims are supported and assisted. I encourage rape victims to access the services they so desperately need and not be deterred by the perception that they will be charged for their rape exam.

That was written by Annette Burrhus-Clay, TAASA's Executive Director. It's still not clear to me where the error occurred, and I wish she had elaborated on the "inaccuracies and half truths" she said the story contained. It is good to know that this was an aberrant case, hopefully an isolated one, and I certainly agree with the call for rape crisis advocates. If it were earlier in the session, perhaps this story could be used to galvanize support for more funding for these advocates. Given where we are, I suppose the best we can do is try to get the word out and make sure as many people know how it's supposed to be as possible. Thanks to Baby Snooks for emailing this link to me.

05/15/09 | permalink | comments [2]

Senate rejects Shanda Perkins

The nomination of Shanda Perkins, the unqualified anti-sex toy activist best known for her war on dildos, for the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, was rejected today by the Senate.

After a brief debate, the GOP-controlled Senate by a 27-4 vote sent the nominee of fellow Republican Perry back to the Nominations Committee, where it is expected to die.

While Perkins' lack of qualifications were cited as a reason for the surprise move, several senators said Perkins' involvement in a 2004 controversy over the sale of sex toys in her hometown of Burleson was a factor.

Just last week Perkins had been approved by the Nominations Committee, with a single dissenting vote.

Wednesday's public vote against a gubernatorial nominee is a rarity, something several senators said had not occurred in years. In most cases when senators want to derail a nomination, they block it so it never gets out of the committee.


At her Senate confirmation hearing last week, Perkins denied she had anything much to do with it.

Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, argued that Perkins was simply unqualified for the $95,000-a-year, full-time post.

"This is not a partisan issue. This is not a personal issue ... This is a life-and-death position. It demands qualifications.," Whitmire said.

Three other nominees to the parole board that were confirmed by the Senate are highly qualified, Whitmire said. Two are longtime board members who are being reappointed, and the other is a Huntsville attorney.

"They have multiple degrees ... (Perkins) has no college degree," he said, noting that Perkins has no criminal justice experience, other than working for a time as a prison ministry volunteer.

Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, agreed. "The basis question is: Are there more qualified people out there?" he said.

As for the lingering issues, Whitmire said he was opposed to the nomination based solely on Perkins' lack of qualifications. "There are others that could be raised. I wish not to go there," he said.

After 10 minutes of debate, senators returned to their chairs and quietly voted down Perkins, in a chamber that is usually noisy with conversations.

Good for them. While I think a Governor - or a President - should have a lot of latitude in making nominations like this, some minimum standard needs to be met. The Senate has a constitutional role to advise and consent, and when they're presented with a stinker like this, it's perfectly proper for them to send it back. It clearly wasn't a close call in this case; one wonders why they bothered to let the nomination out of committee. Be that as it may, this was the right thing to do. Thanks to Grits for the catch.

05/13/09 | permalink | comments [0]

HPOU wants to get into the immigration business

I really don't know why it is that the Houston Police Officers Union has decided it wants HPD to be different from every other urban police force in the state and start questioning residents about their immigration status. The reasons why this is a bad idea are spelled out in the story, but let me briefly summarize: If people believe that by talking to the cops something bad might happen to them or their families, then they won't talk to the cops. That means that victims of crime, witnesses to crimes, people with information about specific crimes or criminals, they'll just clam up and not get involved. It shouldn't take any great insight to realize that this is not conducive to public safety, yet it's what HPOU wants. I don't understand it any more than you do.

Perhaps the problem here is that they start off with a faulty premise.

[Gary Blankinship, president of the Houston Police Officers Union] said 1,433 of the 7,700 inmates processed through the Houston city jail in February identified themselves as noncitizens, although he does not know how many were illegal immigrants.

"I can't help but believe a large number were in this country illegally," he said. "If we had to put our hands on 1,433 fewer people a month, that would free up police for other tasks."

So, what, you think that if HPD changed its policy today those people would magically disappear? I suppose in some way this is accurate, in the sense that some number of the crimes committed by the people Blankinship would rather not have to touch will never be reported, which I suppose would free up officers for other tasks. Why letting more crime go unreported is a desirable outcome is a question that maybe ought to be answered, if it can. Stace has more.

05/12/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Paying for rape kits

I missed this last week, and reading it now I'm one part outraged and one part puzzled.

Victims of sexual assault are getting bills, rejection letters and pushy calls from bill collectors while a state crime victims' fund sits full of cash, Local 2 Investigates reported Thursday.

"I'm the victim, and yet here I am. I'm asked to pay this bill and my credit's going to get hurt," said a single mom from Houston.

She received bills marked, "delinquent," after she visited a hospital where police told her to have evidence gathered. Officers assured her she would not pay a dime for that rape kit to be handled.

"That was unreal," she said. "I never thought I'd be out anything for what I went through."


"It is set up legislatively so that the criminal justice system pays for whatever evidence collection occurs," said Kelly Young, with the Houston Area Women's Center, a rape crisis facility.

Police departments are reimbursed for up to $700 by the Texas Crime Victims' Compensation Fund, but many departments cover the bills if they exceed that.

After that happens, victims can apply for other costs associated with the rape kit hospital visits to be covered by the fund.

The Houston Police Department made one payment toward the single mother's hospital bill, but when she submitted the $1,847 worth of remaining bills to the Crime Victims' Compensation Fund, she received a denial letter, telling her that law enforcement should have paid.

"She's getting the run-around," said Young at the rape crisis center, which was not involved in her case.

"There may be lots of survivors who have this happen and we don't know because they don't know that they shouldn't be getting the bills," she said.

Well, that's a good question. Was there a screwup, on the part of either HPD or the hospital, or is this just how it goes and this particular woman happened to be the first one to get her story in the news? How we react to try to ensure that this never happens again depends on the answer to that.

Attorney General's spokesman Jerry Strickland said the crime victim fund is enforcing strict guidelines imposed by the legislature as to which bills are paid and which victims are sent a denial notice.

Otherwise, he said that fund could become "insolvent."

He said state law is clear that crime victims must exhaust all other potential funding sources, such as local police or their own health insurance.

"The legislature set it up that way," said Strickland.

When asked for a number of how many denial letters had been sent out to Texas rape victims in the past, Strickland did not have an answer after checking with his crime victims' compensation office workers.

He said the attorney general's office constantly trains hospitals and health care providers on how to help victims in getting reimbursed for their expenses.

Again, the question that comes to my mind here is, screwup or SOP? Is it the intent of the Legislature that it's the responsibility of the crime victim to do the paperwork to be reimbursed for any costs the local police department doesn't pick up? Or is it the case that it's up to the police departments and/or the hospitals to deal with it themselves and leave the victims out of it? One would hope that's what they had in mind when that state fund was created - after all, as Salon puts it, we don't charge burglary victims for the cost of dusting for prints - and one imagines that if cornered, the vast majority of legislators would agree that that's how it should be. Perhaps that's a subject on which the AG could issue an opinion.

Where the outrage really comes is that if this is the way it's been all along, intended or not, it's too late for the Lege to take action to fix it. The least we can do, therefore, is to find out for sure whether or not this is something that needs a legislative fix or a procedural one. Whatever the case, the cost of solving and prosecuting the crime should not fall in any way on the person victimized by the crime. Thanks to Ginger for calling this to my attention.

05/11/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Updates on some criminal justice bills

05/09/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Garcia's plan to fix the jails

05/08/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Can't wait to see the transcript of this one

05/06/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Burnam makes his case in the papers

05/03/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Followup on the Keller impeachment resolution

05/01/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Crimes against goats

05/01/09 | permalink | comments [0]

The Keller impeachment resolution

04/28/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Sanctions sought for deadline-missing attorney

04/27/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Tweet it! The cops!

04/26/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Videotaping interrogations

04/24/09 | permalink | comments [0]

House hearing set on Keller impeachment resolution

04/23/09 | permalink | comments [0]

You sure you can afford that attorney?

04/22/09 | permalink | comments [5]

Either way, they still get paid

04/21/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Matt Baker indicted

04/13/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Sexting and the law

04/12/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Won't somebody please think of the mollusks?

04/10/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Keller's day in court set for August

04/09/09 | permalink | comments [1]

There's always an excuse to not do it

04/06/09 | permalink | comments [1]

TPJ files complaints against Keller

04/01/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Innocence, exoneration, and compensation

03/31/09 | permalink | comments [1]

What else have you not told us, Sharon?

03/31/09 | permalink | comments [2]

Regional crime lab

03/30/09 | permalink | comments [1]

You have the right to an attorney, but it doesn't have to be of your choosing

03/27/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Your eyes may deceive you

03/26/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Keller blames others for her actions

03/25/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Missing deadlines in capital cases

03/23/09 | permalink | comments [0]

On DNA testing and innocence

03/13/09 | permalink | comments [1]

NYT on Keller

03/08/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Let's see those files

03/04/09 | permalink | comments [2]

Blow before you drive

03/02/09 | permalink | comments [1]

The Riddler goes on a rampage

02/26/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Keller gets an extension

02/25/09 | permalink | comments [0]

The case against Keller

02/21/09 | permalink | comments [2]

Why does Governor Perry hate sex toys?

02/20/09 | permalink | comments [3]

CSI: Needs Improvement

02/20/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Judicial conduct commission moves against Keller

02/19/09 | permalink | comments [1]

All DNA, all the time

02/18/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Burnam files resolution to impeach Justice Keller

02/16/09 | permalink | comments [1]

"Highway piracy"

02/09/09 | permalink | comments [2]

Exonerating the deceased

02/04/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Heights crime prevention townhall report

02/03/09 | permalink | comments [2]

Report: Most elected officials refuse to contribute to their own prosecution

02/03/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Crime prevention townhall meeting

02/01/09 | permalink | comments [0]


01/27/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Swearingen gets a stay

01/26/09 | permalink | comments [1]

Harris County tackles jail overcrowding

01/26/09 | permalink | comments [1]

More on Larry Swearingen

01/23/09 | permalink | comments [1]

How many wrongly convicted people are there in prison?

01/22/09 | permalink | comments [4]

National ban on phoning while driving urged

01/13/09 | permalink | comments [3]

Prison reform

01/10/09 | permalink | comments [4]

The state of Texas is about to execute an innocent man

01/09/09 | permalink | comments [1]

RIP, Sharon Levine

01/03/09 | permalink | comments [0]

Texas Voices gets an ally

12/31/08 | permalink | comments [1]

The Madoff scandal and the Innocence Project

12/26/08 | permalink | comments [2]

The unthreatening sex offender next door

12/15/08 | permalink | comments [3]

Chuck walks

12/03/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Cheney indictments tossed

12/01/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Pounding the table

11/22/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Where's the DA?

11/20/08 | permalink | comments [0]

More on the Cheney indictment

11/19/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Cheney, Gonzalez indicted in South Texas

11/18/08 | permalink | comments [1]

He's guilty

10/27/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Virginia anti-spam law struck down

09/17/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The DA that did the judge

09/12/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Candidates speak on mental health and criminal justice issues

08/27/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Pistol-packing DAs

08/26/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Forensic Science commission recommends examination of capital arson case

08/17/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The great sex toy disappearance

08/09/08 | permalink | comments [1]

The legacy of Henry Wade

08/06/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Still not safe for sex toys

08/04/08 | permalink | comments [2]

New jail bond to miss the November election

08/03/08 | permalink | comments [1]

The costs and effects of mass imprisonment

07/24/08 | permalink | comments [2]

The jails and the mentally ill

07/21/08 | permalink | comments [3]

Commissioners Court to try, try again

07/20/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Policing the jailers

07/16/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Pee in a cup, go to jail

07/13/08 | permalink | comments [1]

The Feds inspect the jails

07/09/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Jackson Lee wants hearings on Harris County criminal justice

07/07/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Them that has the gold gets the patrols

07/07/08 | permalink | comments [1]

New DNA tests for Darlie Routier

06/20/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Commissioners Court presses forward with scaled-down jail plan

06/18/08 | permalink | comments [2]

The definition of insanity, Harris County style

06/14/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Running prosecutors

06/11/08 | permalink | comments [0]

No Galveston jail for Harris County

06/05/08 | permalink | comments [0]

No excuses for CPS

06/02/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Supreme Court upholds FLDS ruling

05/30/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Sheriff still hasn't learned his lesson about deleting emails

05/29/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Court thwacks CPS over FLDS raid

05/27/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Is the death penalty declining in Texas?

05/27/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Quintero's lawyer speaks

05/25/08 | permalink | comments [0]

DA probes Sheriff's surveillance of Ibarra brothers

05/22/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Not so minor after all

05/21/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Mrs. Medina pleads not guilty

05/21/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The cost of the FLDS case

05/17/08 | permalink | comments [5]

The Rosenthal investigation

05/16/08 | permalink | comments [3]

Let's get serious about innocence

05/10/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Kelly Siegler resigns

05/09/08 | permalink | comments [1]

The Chron on jail overcrowding

05/09/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The Galveston option

05/08/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The real fix for the jail overcrowding blues

05/07/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Abbott makes hash of needle-exchange program

05/06/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The jail overcrowding blues, part whatever

05/06/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The next frontier for innocence

05/05/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Mrs. Medina released on bail

05/03/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The Texas Justice Newsladder

05/02/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Medina grand jury reconvenes, indicts wife

04/30/08 | permalink | comments [0]

A cozy little family in juvenile court

04/21/08 | permalink | comments [2]

The state prison guard shortage

04/21/08 | permalink | comments [0]

For a public defender's office

04/13/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Interview with Craig Watkins

04/11/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Public defender's office gets OK to be studied

04/10/08 | permalink | comments [1]

The high cost of getting tuff on crime

04/06/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Commissioners Court to study public defenders office

04/05/08 | permalink | comments [4]

Whitmire: Abolish the TYC

04/05/08 | permalink | comments [2]

The jail chronicles

04/02/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Rusty Yates has a new son

04/01/08 | permalink | comments [0]

The new DA's new direction?

03/29/08 | permalink | comments [0]

More on a public defender's office for Harris County

03/26/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Harris County juvenile facilities criticized

03/26/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Magidson makes his mark

03/21/08 | permalink | comments [0]

You have the right to an attorney, just not right now

03/19/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Sen. Ellis calls for a public defender's office

03/16/08 | permalink | comments [0]

More jail deaths

03/11/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Feds investigating Harris County jails

03/08/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Who should investigate Chuck?

02/23/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Defense attorneys want new DA named

02/21/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Support resolutions to reform youth and adult corrections

02/20/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Now the world really is safe for sex toys

02/15/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Back to court, Chuck

02/11/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Coleman's conviction upheld

02/11/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Grits talks criminal justice with Texas Monthly

01/28/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Medina grand jurors want to keep the ball rolling

01/24/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Medina grand jury disbanded, judge criticizes DA

01/22/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Tough times in the DA's office

01/22/08 | permalink | comments [2]

The lawyer versus the jurors

01/21/08 | permalink | comments [5]

Two more views of Rosenthal

01/20/08 | permalink | comments [0]

Complaining about the grand jury

01/19/08 | permalink | comments [1]

More on Medina and Rosenthal

01/18/08 | permalink | comments [4]

David Medina indicted by grand jury for arson

01/17/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Rosenthal's judgment

01/15/08 | permalink | comments [1]

What happened to all those cases?

01/08/08 | permalink | comments [0]

"Let's not make a deal", Rosenthal style

01/07/08 | permalink | comments [0]

SCOTUS to review "Jessica's Law"

01/06/08 | permalink | comments [4]

The top ten criminal justice stories from 2007

01/03/08 | permalink | comments [1]

Keller violated court policies

12/13/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Vick gets 23 months

12/11/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Why we didn't need that jail bond

11/19/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Stop Sharon Keller rally this Friday

11/15/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Chron slaps Keller again

11/11/07 | permalink | comments [0]

CCA to accept email filings

11/08/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The economics of plea bargaining

11/07/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Crime lab cases being reviewed

11/02/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Harris County DA holds off on death penalty cases

11/02/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Preventing Wrongful Convictions and Exonerating the Innocent

10/31/07 | permalink | comments [0]

E-filing execution appeals

10/25/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Crime lab review panel begins its work

10/24/07 | permalink | comments [0]

"A shame, and a surprise"

10/22/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Still more complaints filed against Keller

10/20/07 | permalink | comments [0]

"Views divided" (sort of) on Keller

10/17/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Chron: Keller must go

10/16/07 | permalink | comments [1]

DPS owed $620 million in unpaid surcharges

10/15/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Panel to review HPD crime lab cases

10/12/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Another complaint to be filed against Keller

10/11/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Complaint filed against Keller over death penalty appeal

10/11/07 | permalink | comments [3]

AG opinion sought in Bexar needle exchange pilot

10/11/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Freed after 14 years

10/04/07 | permalink | comments [1]

If only there were some way to track where it went

10/03/07 | permalink | comments [0]

More charges for Vick

09/27/07 | permalink | comments [0]

How many innocent "guilty" people are there?

09/21/07 | permalink | comments [0]

OJ busted for stealing his own memorabilia

09/16/07 | permalink | comments [2]

TYC retrospective

09/16/07 | permalink | comments [0]

For want of an attorney

09/10/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Is it a surcharge if no one pays it?

09/04/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Where are the anti-death penalty candidates?

08/31/07 | permalink | comments [3]

TYC still outsourcing custody of 10-13 year olds

08/27/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Vick suspended indefinitely

08/25/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The warped lock-em-up mentality

08/21/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Vick takes a plea

08/20/07 | permalink | comments [4]

Special master for HPD crime lab urged again

08/20/07 | permalink | comments [3]

Oyster-related crime is on the rise in Texas

08/18/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Two more Vick codefendants to plead out

08/15/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The cost

08/13/07 | permalink | comments [1]

On supporting Michael Vick

08/08/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Backroom gambling in Houston

08/06/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Bexar DA rains on needle exchange pilot

08/05/07 | permalink | comments [0]

By the way, the TYC is still broken

08/01/07 | permalink | comments [0]

What "innocent till proven guilty" really means

07/31/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Pilot needle exchange program gets underway in San Antonio

07/24/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Are you wanted by the police?

07/24/07 | permalink | comments [0]

TYC outsourcing custody of 10-13 year olds

07/15/07 | permalink | comments [0]

More on inmate outsourcing

07/13/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Outsourcing inmates

07/12/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Don't mess with Borris

07/09/07 | permalink | comments [7]

Houston Crime: On the Uptick ... Still

07/06/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Teen's death brings about attention for hate crime bill

07/04/07 | permalink | comments [3]

A tale of two cities (and their police departments)

07/02/07 | permalink | comments [5]

Time flies like an arrow

06/30/07 | permalink | comments [2]

We still need a special master for the crime lab

06/25/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Dyslexia and crime

06/20/07 | permalink | comments [2]

A way forward for the HPD Crime Lab

06/17/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Right message, wrong messenger

06/15/07 | permalink | comments [0]

The final HPD lab report

06/14/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Innocence matters

06/13/07 | permalink | comments [0]

What was finally done about the TYC?

06/11/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Causation, correlation, and car burglaries

06/11/07 | permalink | comments [1]

False alarm clampdown contemplated

06/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Fox versus Crosby conclusion

06/05/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Fox versus Crosby update

06/04/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Fox versus Crosby

05/30/07 | permalink | comments [1]

And speaking of cameras

05/15/07 | permalink | comments [0]

On second chances

04/18/07 | permalink | comments [2]

More on the DMN's death penalty change of heart

04/17/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Chron covers the prison guard shortage

04/16/07 | permalink | comments [0]

DMN: No more death penalty in Texas

04/15/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Diane Zamora revisited

04/09/07 | permalink | comments [2]

Harris County jails: Deadlier than ever

04/09/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Justice for Laura Candlelight Vigil reminder

04/03/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Shaquanda Cotton

03/31/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Consent searches

03/30/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Justice For Laura Candlelight Vigil

03/27/07 | permalink | comments [0]

RIP, Charles Harrison

03/22/07 | permalink | comments [0]

What hath the warrant roundup wrought?

03/19/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Warrant roundup draws to a close

03/12/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Tulia: The Movie

03/05/07 | permalink | comments [2]

TYC roundup

03/02/07 | permalink | comments [0]

TYC roundup

03/02/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Saving DNA evidence

03/01/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Matthews gets three years

02/28/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Estimating the cost of "Jessica's Law"

02/24/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Craig Watkins

02/21/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Our deadly jails

02/18/07 | permalink | comments [1]

Pay your fines or go to jail

02/18/07 | permalink | comments [1]

The inmates are running the prisons

02/02/07 | permalink | comments [0]

More treatment, fewer prisons

02/01/07 | permalink | comments [0]

Thomas Grasso

01/17/07 | permalink | comments [2]