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did to my son,” she said. “But I do believe that Mayor Brand is not responsible for what happened. We felt that Mayor Brand had nothing to do with it.” Mrs. Margie Robles of Pharr, mother of another 15-year-old allegedly abused by the McAllen police, said she believed Brand knew of the widespread brutality and did nothing about it. “If Brand cannot control the police in one town, how can he watch over 27 prison units scattered across Texas?” she asked. McAllen lawyer Brinkley Oxford told subcommittee members that “if you think we have problems with the Department of Corrections now, just wait” until Brand was on the prison board. Oxford, who said he was testifying only as an interested citizen, said Brand “has been one of the most divisive forces in our valley and for our community” for years. Oxford said the city has had to pay more than $400,000 in awards or set tlements to persons in police brutality suits and that “I honestly believe this will be the most controversial appointment to the prison board ever made.” Oxford said Brand is in no way a bigot’ and had done a great deal for the McAllen community. But with the Justice order, the state needs a prison board that will work together “and you aren’t going to get it from Othal Brand.” L , R. D. Intrusions To Hunt for Drugs could have defeated it, Hobby and Mauzy worked together to shove it onto the Senate floor for a vote, and then, of course, rejecting all adversarial amendments, the Senate passed it, too. The debates were colorful, and the maneuvers, fascinating; the story even has the kind of interest a novelist would have required, allegations of political cowardice and defenses of fidelitous respect for democratic process that swirled around and issued forth from Hobby and Mauzy as the bill proceeded serenely forward from the Senate toward House acceptance of the Senate’s amendments and then the Governor’s signature. First in moment, however, is what the new law says, not what the legislators say it says, but what it says, read through front to back in the light of what they say it says. The New Law Though it be pointed out that the bill authorizes lawmen, under a court order, to break and enter, still it has been called generally “the wiretapping bill.” In truth this new law lets judges authorize breaking and entering on the strength of the statements of an informant who may be, in the applying lawman’s affidavit, anonymous, who well may be a criminal with leniency from the law to gain, who may have it in for the target of the B&E and tap, whose statement is not required to be sworn, and who may be lying. It is the experience in such matters so far that the great majority of judges, presented a lawman’s sworn affidavit based on an informant the lawman is protecting, simply approve, on the foundation of all the required “boilerplate language,” breaking and entering to wiretap. In its own provisions the new law is not given a name, perhaps because its promulgators do not want it clearly described. As well name it, then, what it is, the Break,. Enter, and Wiretap Act of 1981. The law authorizes breaking and entering and “electronic surveillance” against any citizen on the basis of a court order from one specified district judge in each of the nine judicial districts in Texas that there is probable cause to believe a felony offense has been, is being, or will be committed under the controlled substances or dangerous drug acts. In a perverse admission that this law is extraordinary, the legislature, sweeping aside all argumentation about the horrors of marijuana, implicitly accepts the relative innocuousness of that substance by exempting felony marijuana possession wiretapping. “Covert entry,” says the new law, “means any entry into or onto premises which if made without a court order allowing such an entry under this Act would be a violation of the Penal Code.” A judge issuing an order authorizing an interception of wire or oral communication, the new law says, “on request of the applicant, shall direct that a communication common carrier, landlord, custodian, or other person furnish the applicant all information, facilities, and technical assistance necessary to accomplish the interception unobtrusively and with a A Note on Timing Austin As we go to press this issue, the Texas legislature has ended its regular session. The major issues, the Clayton plan, bilingual education, redistricting, and the others, have rushed pell-mell toward their complicated and somewhat momentous resolutions. We reserve much of our reporting and analysis of all this for the next issue, which we will close the week after the session. minimum of interference with the services that the carrier, landlord, custodian, or other person is providing the person whose communications are to be intercepted.” Clearly this authorizes law officers not only to tap phones, using the telephone company, or taps outside premises, and to eavesdrop by electronic means such as boom mikes or recorders strapped on informants it also authorizes the officers to “break and enter,” in the meaning of the burglary statute, into any premises, whether a home, a business, a school, a church, or any other place. Since the whole stealthy enterprise fails if the person tapped knows of the tap, doors will not be broken down; rather, windows will be climbed through, locks will be picked, or the keys obtained from landlords or custodians, or other persons in the business, whom the judge will order to collaborate in the breaking and entering and the secrecy of that and the tap. What is to prevent the officers, once they are inside a home or business, from rummaging through everything to see what they can find, and only then placing the bug? Clements’ counsel, David Dean, when asked this, said they will only be able to take note of what they “see” and if they want some evidence they “see” go get a search warrant and come back and get it. The statute contains no such limitation. To the contrary, an innocuous “definition” in it may open up the penetrated homes and businesses to extensive search and seizure, if only by apparent implication on which courts will have to rule. The bill says, in the definitions section, ” ‘Contents,’ when used with respect to a wire or oral communication, includes any information concerning the identity of the parties to the communication or the existence, substance, purport, or meaning of that communication.” The italics have been provided. The implications of this language could bear their fruit in action either when the tap is THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9