Two events this month honor efforts to keep the stories of San Antonio’s old West Side street gangs alive.Read full post
What happens when the key witness and victim in a horrific crime is a child too young and immature to reliably remember what happened? And how reliable are they when they change their minds?Read full post
An off-duty Conroe police sergeant has been indicted for apparently shooting a teen in the back of the head. A Harris County grand jury hasn’t indicted an officer for a shooting in more than four years.Read full post
One of the contributors to Texas’ slowly dropping incarceration rates is a growth in diversion programs that address problems like addiction and mental illness.
Harris County, for example, recently doubled its number of crisis intervention response teams, which include trained deputies and mental health clinicians who answer 9-1-1 calls where mental illness may be a factor.Read full post
A new Investigation by the Department of Homeland Security Does Little to Explain Spate of Fatal Shootings and Beatings by Border Patrol Agents.Read full post
The ABA report makes recommendations on every stage of Texas’s capital punishment system. Law enforcement should use model practices when dealing with eyewitnesses; interrogations should be videotaped; biological evidence should be safely preserved and defendants should be able to have it tested. Crime lab standards should be standardized and test results verified independently and often. Texas should use national standards for arson investigations, give juries better instructions, and provide adequate counsel for defendants in every stage of the process.
Yet even if these and all the other recommendations were all followed, Anthony Graves would not be satisfied.Read full post
The study found that detained defendants had it worse all around. They were less likely than bond defendants to receive deferred adjudication or probation. And they were about half as likely to have their charges dismissed. That means in addition to having spent time in jail before their trial—which, obviously, the bonded defendants didn’t—detained defendants were likelier to get additional jail time.
Finally, among bonded and detained defendants who were sentenced to jail, the detained defendants received longer sentences. In brief, for being poor, they’re punished twice.Read full post
The Zetas money laundering trial in Austin took another dramatic turn, with the arrest of Francisco Colorado Cessa’s business partner and his son, for attempting to bribe the judge presiding over the trial.Read full post