Posts filtered by tags: Innocence Project of Texas[x]


 

Podcast: When is slavery profitable? Texas' "Law of Parties," why traffic enforcement doesn't make us safer, and breaking down the #TexasGeorgeFloydAct

Here's the April 2021 episode of Just Liberty's Reasonably Suspicious podcast. co-hosted by me and Mandy Marzullo. This is Part Two of our special on the Texas George Floyd Act (here's part one). Listen to it here: We started with a discussion of the hearing on the Texas George Floyd Act and then broke down aspects of the bill we didn't get to in Part One:Qualified Immunity, featuring interviews with Arif Panju and Keith Neely from the Institute for Justice (4:50)Corroboration in Drug Cases, f...
Tags: Texas, Law, Institute for Justice, Mandy, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Jeff Blackburn, Gritsforbreakfast, Innocence Project of Texas, Mandy Marzullo, Keith Neely, Arif Panju


Forensic hypnosis largely dead in Texas but junk evidence still travels like zombies through the court system thanks to the CCA

Exciting news: Texas DPS has ended the use of forensic hypnosis among the Texas Rangers, the Forensic Science Commission's Lynn Garcia told the Texas Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee yesterday. Your correspondent broke the news on Twitter; see Dallas News coverage here.  The Dallas News had previously reported that the Texas Rangers and the Harris County Sheriff's Office were the last agencies in the state with peace officers carrying hypnosis certifications. Those must be renewed ...
Tags: Texas, Law, Scotus, FSC, US supreme court, Texas Rangers, Flores, Legislature, DPS, Mandy, Harris County, CCA, Texas Senate, Harris County Sheriff s Office, Texas Legislature, Dave Boucher


What does a successful "Defund the Police" campaign actually look like? Reconsidering Texas' abolition of Tulia-style drug task forces in light of 2020's #DefundThePolice frame

In 2020, the phrase "defund the police" captured the public imagination, for good or ill, and became the centerpiece of conservative messaging against Democrats in the fall. But it wasn't that long ago that Texas defunded dozens of regional drug task forces without any of the #DefundThePolice backlash. At their height, those task forces collectively made around 12,000 arrests per year (see FN 26 in this report), but in 2006, Gov. Rick Perry eliminated their funding with the stroke of a pen, the ...
Tags: Texas, Law, Obama, Austin, House, Rick Perry, City Council, Doj, Drug Policy Alliance, Legislature, Perry, DPS, Byrne, Rio Grande, Austin Police Department, Texas Legislature


Police evidence rooms another function we don't need cops to perform

We've been lately discussing functions of police that don't require a badge or gun to perform that might reasonably be removed from law enforcement's purview, and Grits can't believe I hadn't considered the evidence room! In H-Town, the independent Houston Forensic Science Center will consolidate evidence management for both city and county law enforcement, including taking over evidence management from HPD, they reported in their latest newsletter: Property rooms have historically been ma...
Tags: Texas, Law, Houston, Stout, Denton, Harris County, Gritsforbreakfast, Houston Forensic Science Center, Innocence Project of Texas, Peter Stout, HFSC


Texas Man to Be Exonerated After DNA Leads to New Arrest in 2010 Stabbing

HOUSTON — Authorities said they will begin the process to exonerate a Houston man who was convicted in a 2010 fatal stabbing that investigators now believe was committed by someone else. Lydell Grant, 42, was freed on bond last month after a new analysis of DNA found on the victim’s fingernails pointed to his innocence in the killing of 28-year-old Aaron Scheerhoorn. Authorities undertook a new investigation, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said Friday that Grant has been e...
Tags: Texas, News, Uncategorized, Georgia, Fbi, Houston, Grant, Carter, Harris County, Authorities, Ware, Houston Police Department, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Lydell, Acevedo, Kim Ogg


Roundup: Oversight overlooked, the I-35 Fine Corridor, a last chance to end forensic hypnosis, and more

Here are a few odds and ends that merit Grits readers' attention: Agency regulating judges toothless and useless Texas' State Commission on Judicial Conduct is a toothless agency. Its investigators appear to do a good job, but they're too cozy with the judges they regulate and the results just don't sufficiently protect the public. This Houston Chronicle editorial speaks to that point: "The State Commission on Judicial Conduct should be embarrassed by the wrist slap it gave three current and eig...
Tags: Texas, Law, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Houston Chronicle, Legislature, Fifth Circuit, Harris County, McAllen, CCA, Don Willett, Texas Legislature, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Canales, Chuck Lindell


Humpty Dumpty, the Castle Doctrine, and other stories

Here are a few odds and ends that merit Grits readers' attention: Humpty Dumpty and the Castle Doctrine The judge in former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger's murder trial for the shooting of Botham Jean gave the jury instructions on the Castle Doctrine defense, despite the fact that Guyger entered Jean's home and shot him, and wasn't defending her "castle." Her lawyers employed this argument as their primary defense (that it wasn't her home was a "mistake of fact," they said) so the judge h...
Tags: Texas, Law, Police, Marijuana, Austin, Mental Health, Homelessness, Brooklyn, New York Times, Finland, Sex Crimes, Dallas, Houston, Bail, Innocence, Probation


#cjreform implications of Texas Senate races

How might contested state-senate races in the November elections affect criminal-justice reform prospects in Texas? Prospects for senate turnover Alex Samuels at the Texas Tribune today reported news which has been widely understood in political circles for months - that as many as three Republican state senate districts could flip red-to-blue in a high-turnout, Democratic-wave election. Those seats are presently held by Konni Burton, Joan Huffman, and Don Huffines.Samuels focused on the most ob...
Tags: Texas, Law, Congress, Senate, Gop, House, Ted Cruz, Republican, Tea Party, Samuel, Burton, Ken Paxton, Huffman, Texas Senate, Texas Tribune, Dan Patrick


Myths and dilemmas surrounding DNA testing backlogs

The Fair Punishment Project has a good roundup in its In Justice Today Texas newsletter of stories on Texas' efforts to reduce the so-called "rape kit backlog," and I was pleased to see among them this item identifying "5 myths" surrounding the controversy over un-tested rape kits from the co-founders of People for Enforcement of Rape Laws.I agree with most of that commentary, but there's one other "myth" they didn't cover: That every un-tested rape kit has the potential to identify a criminal. ...
Tags: Post, Texas, Law, Washington Post, Virginia, Los Angeles, Fbi, Houston, Detroit, Louisville, Detroit Free Press, LA County, Nancy Kaffer, National Institute of Justice, Gritsforbreakfast, Trump Administration


Reasonably Suspicious: Listen to the podcast, join us for our Launch Party!

After several months of working out the kinks in a soft launch, Just Liberty's Reasonably Suspicious podcast now is up and running on numerous platforms - iTunes, Google Play, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc..  Please subscribe and give it a try! I'm proud of the results so far, and we're improving every time.We've now got a fresh new logo created by the legendary Guy Juke, and original music by Gabe Rhodes and some of the best musicians in Texas. I couldn't ask for a smarter, more able co-host than M...
Tags: New York, Texas, Law, California, America, Austin, Hawaii, New York Times, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, Barry, Wonderland, Alice, Robbins, Cadillac


Texas, California 'junk science writs' should spur bills in other states

Regular Grits readers are well aware of Texas' "junk science writ," which was added to the state's habeas corpus statute in 2013 then amended in 2015. The legislation represented an acknowledgement of the flaws in and lack of scientific basis for many traditional forensic disciplines which were articulated by the National Academy of Sciences in 2009. Though the Texas prosecutors' association dubbed the bill a sign of the "writ apocalypse," elsewhere it was hailed as a sign of progress.In 2014, C...
Tags: Texas, California, Washington Post, Ap, Npr, Bill, Abbott, Ccp, National Academy of Sciences, CCA, Texas California, Midwestern, Jordan Smith, Austin Chronicle, Court of Criminal Appeals, New Texas