Criminal Justice

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Mentally Ill and Sentenced to Death

After 45 years, Texas’ longest-serving death row inmate was resentenced last week due to a long history of severe mental illness. But state lawmakers this session again declined to ban the death penalty for people like him.

This article was produced through the NPR NextGen/Texas Observer Print Scholars program, a new collaboration designed to offer mentorship and hands-on traini...Read More

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An Irreversible Sentence

Using dubious evidence, Texas condemned Clinton Young to death almost 20 years ago. I traveled 3,000 miles to Texas to help him.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in the Texas Observer’s May/June 2021 print edition. Since its publication, prosecutor Ralph Petty has su...Read More

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Editorial: Defund the Constables

The office of constable may have made sense back when Texas was a sprawling frontier. Instead, constables basically now run their own little personal fiefdoms.

From the March/April 2021 issue. Texas Republicans’ longtime demand that cities shrink their budgets ran into a thin blue line last year. Austin called thei...Read More

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Undetected

Homicide cases are going unsolved in Texas, leaving serial killers to murder again.

Undetected As more homicide cases go unsolved, the backlog of unsolved murders grows and serial killers are free to kill again. Too few police departments are e...Read More

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