A countywide public defender's office would've saved Victoria County $1.3 million in its first two years alone. So why did the new DA kill the proposal?
Earlier this year, it seemed as if poor people charged with crimes in a handful of Gulf Coast communities would finally have a fighting chance in court. In Apri...Read More
The Legislature recently passed medical cannabis reform, but the debate was marred by misinformation and left out people who say the drug eases their symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
When Dave Bass returned from Iraq to Texas in 2005, doctors diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It’s a familiar problem for combat vets;...Read More
Seth Donnelly was one of the many inmates Texas prison officials use as prey for dog hunts. He died from heatstroke after collapsing on the job in Abilene.
Seth Donnelly desperately wanted to get out of the kitchen. Ever since the 29-year-old got his HVAC certification in prison, he applied for maintenance jobs —...Read More
A pediatrician talks to the Observer about her recent visit to a South Texas detention facility.
Kids sleeping on the ground with lights on at all hours, day and night. Teen moms lacking sufficient drinking water and struggling to breastfeed their babies. I...Read More
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar is feuding with his deputies' union in the midst of a bout of scandals.
Javier Salazar has bounced between scandals since he took over the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office in 2017. During his first year, the department drew national ...Read More
A court decision this week could be the coup de grâce that finally ends the attorney general’s four-year-old felony case.
The criminal justice system humiliates, maims and destroys some people. For a sick grandmother dependent on Social Security, traffic tickets can result in repea...Read More
After passing the House, HB 1139, meant to reform how Texas decides whether a defendant is too intellectually disabled to execute, was significantly softened in Senate committee.
A House bill meant to reform Texas’ death penalty procedures for intellectually disabled defendants was amended in the Senate to the point that criminal justi...Read More
A combination of incompetence and sabotage appears to have killed a police reform bill that had passed the House with an overwhelming bipartisan majority.
Law enforcement’s ability to arrest Texans for crimes punishable only by fine, including traffic violations, will likely remain unchecked after House Democrat...Read More