Page 20


nature of the sentence itself. And I think that let’s always just say, you have to be very cautious, very cautious. And there are, as you know in both those cases, there are still many people that believe that the defendants are guilty as there are many people who believe that they’re innocent. And when you have those kind of circumstances, that’s when a governor, or court, or the attorney general step in and stay the process. As I did in the Brandley case. And I would have done the same thing had the Randall Dale Evans Randall Dale Adams case come to me. I would have stopped the process to give us ample time to have a fair understanding of the situation. In the Brandley case the Brandley case never came to me. It never got through the state court system. It would not get to me until it got through the state court system. But I stepped in to try to investigate the matter, even at that to try to see if we could get some fairness out of it. And in fact, of course, recommended that we appoint a visiting judge and that the county, that it be transferred into another county. And we appointed Judge Pickett who moved it to Galveston. What about another crime-related question. On prison building, recently a Republican candidate, Kent Hance, suggested that another 25,000 beds be built beyond what is now scheduled or on-line. What’s your position on prison expansion? I think that, well right now we have on line an additional 20,000 beds to be constructed which will move us up to about a 60,000 level. And I have said very clearly that if we do not dramatically improve the function of our criminal justice system, and if we do not bring in alcohol and drug-abuse rehabilitation early on, change the educational performance of our schools to assist our young people better, and to provide them with drug and alcohol abuse training, virtually every year, in every grade, for every student, we might as well go on and build those other 25,000 beds. Because if we continue the pattern we’re on right now, we’re very clearly going to need an additional 25,000 beds and perhaps more. Particularly if we look at the experience that’s taking place in California, we’ll need ’em. Right now, if we had 25,000 beds open, they would all be filled, they would all be filled right now. Particularly since we have about 7,500 hundred, to probably 10,000 people that are backed up in the county jails. How about alternative sentencing? Is that part of the judicial Sure, but the Legislature has actually provided for a number of alternative sentencing methods. But they have not provided much incentive for the systems to change the inertia to, or change its inertia to move the system in that direction. We have had alternative sentencing now for quite a period of time. 6 JANUARY 12, 1990 But they are not adequate. We must have particularly adequate alcohol and drug abuse treatment capability which we don’t have. We probably have only about five percent of what we need for people to go through the criminal justice system. What’s your position on restricting access to handguns in particular, to assault weapons, that type of Well the state law is already relatively strict on the punishment of the individuals that are caught carrying weapons . . . much stricter than in most states already. As far as the actual carrying of those weapons off one’s property and into the general public. It’s a pretty strict law. The, oh, the availability I think that people look at the availability of guns and believe that that availability is what’s going to solve changing the availability will solve the crime problem out here. What I have found is I for instance have handled murder cases where my, where the defendants have stabbed people with butcher knives for no apparent reason. And we cannot ban butcher knives. It’s like saying, our law already says you can’t carry a Bowie knife, but there’s nothing to keep you from carrying a butcher knife. Literally, that’s not entirely accurate. But I don’t see that changing the laws is really going to make a dramatic difference in the patterns of crime. I think we just might find fewer crimes that are committed with guns. What would be the main component of a Jim Mattox criminal justice package or a legislative agenda Well first thing is I would bring try to bring some coordination to a system. . . . I testified in favor of the reforms that they enacted this last time . . . to bring some mechanism to control the Board of Pardons and Paroles, the adult probation, and the . . . Department of Corrections board. If you look at the state of Texas you’ll find that there is no coordination. None at all, of our criminal justice system in our state. And if we are going to bring about a functioning system, we are going to have to bring the people together that operate the system that we have now and work out some mechanisms to make them work. We have all the ingredients for failure here in our system and we must change them. After the people go through the criminal-justice system and are back out on the streets, they will most certainly re-enter the criminal-justice system again in one way or anothernearly always. Because of the method by which we handle people. And we’ve got to start changing that right off. For instance, I’ve been something of an unofficial spokesperson at times for the DARE program, where we’ve had uniformed officers going into our schools there are about 70 of them in Texas now to try to provide drug resistance and alcohol resistance to our young people, teach them self respect and teach them respect for the property of others .. . I think you start off very young. You deal with young people when they go through the system . . . If a child violates the law, the court has the option of putting the child in a foster home, putting the child back in the child’s own home on probation, or put him in the TYC. That is not, often, those are not very adequate choices. You’ve got to go through the whole system and figure out what you have to change and you have to make those mechanisms happen. I have an agenda to carry out in the criminal-justice reform areas. I know what it is. It’ll be the top order of business when I am elected governor. I intend it to be the number one item on our agenda. Would it include mandatory drug testing? Yes. Who would you propose to test? I would propose mandatory drug testing for those individuals that go through the criminal-justice system that meet a pre-established screening criteria . . . And when I say it’s mandatory, it would be a mandatory attempt to offer it to people on bond. Whether they take it or don’t take it is a consideration that a judge can use in setting bail . . . And then for the individuals that are on probation or on parole, a similar screening criteria would take place to try to keep them from engaging in both alcohol and drug abuse. Outside of that population, are there other people who you think should be involved in drug testing? Not generally. There might be some specialized security areas. We already there are some safety areas that the state, working with the federal government, perhaps, should institute, at least a random drug-testing possibility. But I think that it would be better not spending that money that comes through that kind of drug testing in drug education and drug rehabilitation. Drug testing is a relatively expensive process … Most people that abuse drugs segregate themselves out of the rest of society by violating certain laws .. . There are a number of different things when people meet certain criteria that we can set up where you don’t just test everybody. It’s not necessary. Do you have any personal philosophical objections to private companies testing of their employees? I have a philosophical difference with it. I don’t think that there should be I don’t think that you should have to submit yourself to a drug test in order to be gainfully employed. I think that there are constitutional violations, and I have so offered that feeling even in the area where the state might be the employer. Particularly in the area of teach