Posts filtered by tags: Mandy Marzullo[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


Committee that will hear the #TexasGeorgeFloydAct has seen concerning police episodes in their districts

Art by Nia Palmer On Thursday in the Texas House, the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee will consider the Texas George Floyd Act (HB 88 by Senfronia Thompson). Because state and federal roles in regulating law enforcement are so different, this is a radically, almost completely different piece of legislation than the federal George Floyd Act (banning chokeholds is the main crossover) and must be evaluated on its own merits. (Mandy Marzullo are doing a 2-part podcast explaini...
Tags: Texas, Law, Houston, Jim Crow, Keller, TX, Frisco, Arlington, James White, Tyler, Texas House, Bullard, Maverick County, Gritsforbreakfast, Senfronia Thompson, Corrections Committee


Podcast: How police licensing agencies can weed out bad cops; what 911 calls EMS could take over from police: and Just Liberty and the Austin Justice Coalition unveil a new jingle aiming to oust Austin police Chief Brian Manley

Here's the July 2020 episode of Just Liberty's Reasonably Suspicious podcast covering Texas criminal-justice politics and policy, co-hosted by Scott Henson and Mandy Marzullo. This month, Mandy and I discuss how police licensing agencies can weed out bad cops, what 911 calls EMS could take over from police, and unveil a new jingle from Just Liberty and the Austin Justice Coalition aiming to oust Austin police Chief Brian Manley. Here's what's in this month's episode: Top Stories Poli...
Tags: Texas, Law, Austin, EMS, San Antonio, Sandra Bland, Mandy, Travis County, Scott Henson, Gritsforbreakfast, Brian Manley, Jose Garza, Mandy Marzullo, Margaret Moore, Austin Justice Coalition, Houston PD Narcotics Division


Laws on rioting an anachronistic snapshot into Texas Legislature's anti-civil rights mentality in 1965

Grits has heard of people reading someone the Riot Act, but until recently had never read Texas' own riot act for myself. On the Reasonably Suspicious podcast the other day, Mandy Marzullo and I discussed Texas' laws on "riots," which were invoked via dozens of arrests around the state, including "several dozen" in Fort Worth. In Dallas, protesters have sued to challenge the constitutionality of the law. First, some historical context. Texas' offense of "Riot" was created in spring 1965, rea...
Tags: Texas, Law, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Martin Luther King Jr, Jim Crow, Daniel, Legislature, Trotsky, Texas Legislature, John Connally, Subsection, Gritsforbreakfast, UT Austin, Wiley College


Meaty January episode of Reasonably Suspicious podcast: Hear federal judge scold Travis County DA; what's the remedy for school principal convicted based on junk science?; why DPS troopers' chase policy is a bad fit for urban policing, and more

Here's the January 2020 episode of Just Liberty's Reasonably Suspicious podcast, co-hosted by me and Mandy Marzullo. We have a meaty, jam-packed show for you this month.The Texas parole board is the last hope for Joe Bryan, the Bosque County school principal falsely convicted in 1985 based on erroneous blood-spatter testimony. Travis County DA Margaret Moore can't accept the results in an innocence case. And the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals says Texas prison guards couldn't have known it was a...
Tags: Texas, Law, Taylor, Legislature, Fifth Circuit, DPS, Reid, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Travis County, Court of Criminal Appeals, Joe Bryan, Gritsforbreakfast, TDCJ, Lege, Trent Taylor, Mandy Marzullo


Reasonably Suspicious Christmas episode: The Grinch story "if the Whos were us," plus the policy failure of high fines, examining recent innocence cases, and reviewing Texas' biggest criminal-justice stories of 2019

Here's the December 2019 episode of Just Liberty's Reasonably Suspicious podcast, co-hosted by me and our good friend Mandy Marzullo, of the Texas Defender Service. This month includes a special Christmas poem in the intro! Enjoy: Here's what's on deck this month: Intro Christmas Poem: "If The Whos Were Us" Top Stories Why high fines and fees are a plague on the criminal-justice system.Musical interlude: Debtors Prison BluesWhat recent Texas innocent cases tell us about needed policy reforms. ...
Tags: Texas, Law, Legislature, Gritsforbreakfast, Mandy Marzullo, Potter county


On the dangers of dick-ish drug enforcement, racist cop rose in Austin PD ranks, indigent defense denied in Amarillo, and other stories

Just in time for the drive to Grandma's house, here's the November 2019 episode* of Just Liberty's Reasonably Suspicious podcast covering Texas criminal justice politics and policy, co-hosted with Amanda Marzullo of the Texas Defender Service.In this month's episode: Introductory tomfoolery ¡Poncho! Top Stories Houston PD narcotics division a black hole of bad practices (2:32)Federal judge defines limits of DNA mixture software (8:54) Fill in the Blank Victoria County Jail death from drug with...
Tags: Podcast, Texas, Kim Kardashian, Law, Police, Dna, Fbi, Austin, Homelessness, Ted Cruz, Death Penalty, Michigan, Houston, Bail, Department Of Transportation, Abbott


The iceberg's tip: CA man walks free bc of DNA-mixture SNAFU

It's perhaps a testament to the reduction in size of and competition among MSM outlets that nobody has yet covered the problems with DNA-mixture forensics raised by federal District Judge Janet Neff of Michigan's Western District* (discussed by Grits here and on the latest Reasonably Suspicious podcast). That must change; some full-time reporter(s) must step up. These issues deserve high-level coverage and national context that this humble, regional blog cannot provide.Once you begin to pay atte...
Tags: Texas, Law, California, San Diego, Michigan, Monte Carlo, Western District, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Dominguez, Travis County, Neff, Gritsforbreakfast, Houston Forensic Science Center, Mandy Marzullo, Janet Neff, Monte Carlo Markov


Report cast dismal light on indigent defense in Amarillo

On the November episode of the Reasonably Suspicious podcast, my co-host Mandy Marzullo and I discussed a new, commissioned report by the Sixth Amendment Center (6AC) analyzing indigent defense systems in Potter and Armstrong Counties. Potter County contains most of Amarillo, while Armstrong is a nearby, very rural county with very few lawyers, an 8-bed jail, and no municipal police departments. I've excerpted our segment here, and below pulled some highlights from the (somewhat overwritten) 200...
Tags: Texas, Law, Judiciary, Amarillo, Potter, Mandy, Armstrong, Armstrong County, Gritsforbreakfast, Texas Indigent Defense Commission, Texas Observer, Indigent Defense, State of Texas, TIDC, Mandy Marzullo, Potter county


Bonus tracks from Reasonably Suspicious interview with #RodneyReed's attorneys: Why all the forensics from his case have been discredited

For the October Reasonably Suspicious podcast, my co-host Mandy Marzullo and I interviewed attorneys for death-row inmate Rodney Reed, who is scheduled to be executed on November 20th. Despite this apparent failure, Bryce Benjet of the national Innocence Project and Quinncy McNeal of Mayer-Brown in Houston are in fact excellent lawyers, and their habeas-corpus-phase deconstruction has left little evidence remaining from the prosecution's case that convicted their client.Regardless, Reed's execu...
Tags: Podcast, Texas, Kim Kardashian, Law, Rihanna, Police, Death Penalty, Houston, US supreme court, Abbott, Greg Abbott, Rodney, Reed, Scott, Stacey, Phil


Interview: Parsing the civil-rights lawsuit demanding Hepatitis C treatment for Texas prisoners

In last month's Reasonably Suspicious podcast, co-host Mandy Marzullo and I interviewed Texas civil-rights attorney Scott Medlock about his new lawsuit against the Texas prison system over the state's failure to treat inmates suffering from Hepatitis C. (See the original complaint here, and coverage from the Houston Chronicle.) Medlock first learned of the issue in a Grits for Breakfast blog post and filed the suit over the summer. Listen to the excerpted segment here, and find a transcript of o...
Tags: Texas, Law, Houston, US supreme court, Murray, Ac, Scott, Mandy, MDR, Medlock, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Scott Henson, Gritsforbreakfast, TDCJ, Owen Murray, Marzullo


Podcast: Texas bail reform litigation, demagoguery on crime in Houston, and Grits' contribution to new TDCJ Hep C litigation

Here's the September 2019 episode of Just Liberty's Reasonably Suspicious podcast, co-hosted by Scott Henson and Amanda Marzullo. Special thanks to Scott Medlock, who's suing TDCJ over failure to adequately treat Hepatitis C. I didn't realize until he told me the idea from the suit originated from a Grits for Breakfast blog post several years ago! That's exciting. Here's this month's episode:In this episode: Top Stories Harris and Galveston County bail litigation - 1:40HPD Chief Art Acevedo ...
Tags: Podcast, Texas, Mississippi, Law, Unions, Police, Boston, US, America, General Motors, CIO, Austin, House, Dallas, Louisiana, Houston


TX bail-reform momentum growing amidst supportive press

Source: SA Express-News In San Antonio, bail companies openly advertise to defendants that they should reject "personal bonds" and use bail bondsmen instead to avoid court fees, in-person check ins, and drug testing. That's pretty brash, for a group trying to convince the Texas Legislature that they're in the business of protecting public safety!Here are several items anyone tracking the Texas bail debate will want to have read:SA Express-News: Bexar's stunning embrace of cash bailAustin ...
Tags: Texas, Law, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Texas Legislature, Bexar County, Travis County, Express News, Bexar, Jerry Valdez, Gritsforbreakfast, SA Express News, Larry Krasner, Mandy Marzullo, Janice Dotson Stephens, John Longoria


Third party will review rape-clearance data that spurred ouster of Austin PD division chief

Last night, the Austin City Council voted to have a third party review years worth of cases to discover the extent to which the Police Department inflated clearance rates in sexual assault cases. the agency pressured the head of the sex crimes unit to declare more cases "exceptionally cleared," then removed her when she refused and began puffing up the numbers, anyway. Now we know she was in the right and APD brass was fudging data to misrepresent success rates to the city council and the public...
Tags: Law, Police, Austin, Sex Crimes, Apd, Austin City Council, Police Department, DPS, Manley, Gritsforbreakfast, Austin PD, Mandy Marzullo, Bryan Manley, Clearance Rates


Podcast excerpt: TX Court of Criminal Appeals hears arguments about when it's okay to electrocute pro se defendants

James Calvert is a mentally ill capital murder defendant who allegedly murdered his ex-wife on Halloween night in 2012. He represented himself at trial in Smith County, Texas and was sentenced to the death penalty. Among other remarkable elements of the case, Mr. Calvert was shocked with a 50,000 volt stun belt during the trial for refusing to obey the court's demands. In addition, Judge Jack Skeen, who presided over the trial, repeatedly made negative comments about Mr. Calvert and the evidenc...
Tags: Texas, Law, Washington Post, Calvert, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, James Calvert, Gritsforbreakfast, Texas Defender Service, Mandy Marzullo, Jack Skeen, TX Court of Criminal Appeals, Smith County Texas


Podcast excerpt: Listen to TX Court of Criminal Appeals consider when it's okay to electrocute defendants at oral arguments

James Calvert is a mentally ill capital murder defendant who allegedly murdered his ex-wife on Halloween night in 2012. He represented himself at trial in Smith County, Texas and was sentenced to the death penalty. Among other remarkable elements of the case, Mr. Calvert was shocked with a 50,000 volt stun belt during the trial for refusing to obey the court's demands. In addition, Judge Jack Skeen, who presided over the trial, repeatedly made negative comments about Mr. Calvert and the evidenc...
Tags: Texas, Law, Washington Post, Calvert, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, James Calvert, Gritsforbreakfast, Texas Defender Service, Mandy Marzullo, Jack Skeen, TX Court of Criminal Appeals, Smith County Texas


Checking in at the CCA: TX high criminal court hasn't posted oral-argument videos in nearly six months, and other stories

Since your correspondent left the Innocence Project of Texas, I haven't tracked the Court of Criminal Appeals hand-down lists nearly as closely as at times in the past. But here are a few recent items that merit Grits readers attention. Hiccup in publishing CCA arguments video Last year, the Legislature mandated that oral argument videos from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals should be recorded and posted online. But the last ones available as of this writing are from June, and court staff don...
Tags: Texas, Law, Alcala, Keller, Legislature, TX, Paxton, Ken Paxton, CCA, Texas Tribune, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Newton County, James Calvert, Court of Criminal Appeals, Sheriff 's Department, Gritsforbreakfast


Whistleblower: Austin PD fudged rape clearance rates to boost numbers, pretend hundreds of crimes were solved when no arrests were made

A former Austin police sergeant who was in charge of APD's sex crimes unit claims she was forced out after refusing to close cases where arrests were never made and no one was prosecuted, even if the suspect had been identified. The result was to give a false impression that the department had solved many more rape cases than was really the case. The podcast, Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, covered the topic of clearance cases in rape cases, and about 2/3 of the way...
Tags: Law, Austin, Apd, Manley, Steve Adler, Public Safety Commission, Center for Investigative Reporting, Gritsforbreakfast, Austin PD, Mandy Marzullo, Bryan Manley, Beyond Austin


El Paso 'shaken baby' conviction latest capital case challenged under TX's junk science writ

Texas' junk science writ continues to impact high-profile capital cases, this time causing re-evaluation of faddish "shaken-baby" science, which in recent years has come under fire. An El Paso judge recommended a new trial for Rigoberto Avila, declaring scientific testimony against him in his case "false and misleading." Now the Court of Criminal Appeals must decide his fate. Reported the Texas Tribune: “The new scientific evidence creates a compelling case for Mr. Avila’s innocence, and a judge...
Tags: Texas, Law, El Paso, Frye, Texas Tribune, Avila, Court of Criminal Appeals, Rob Owen, Gritsforbreakfast, Trump Administration, Rigoberto Avila, Cathryn Crawford, Texas Forensic Science Commission, Mandy Marzullo


Study: When cities rely on ticket revenue, police clearance rates decline

On the latest Reasonably Suspicious podcast, released yesterday, Mandy Marzullo and I discussed a theory suggested by Jay Wachtel that the innocence movement and measures taken to prevent false convictions had contributed to a decline in crime-clearance rates.Grits wishes I'd read this Washington Post op ed, published online the day we recorded, before that conversation, and perhaps we'll revisit the topic. The authors suggested another provocative, possible cause of low clearance rates: A dispr...
Tags: Law, Washington Post, Dallas, David Brown, Mandy, Middletown, Republican Party of Texas, Texas Democratic Party, Gritsforbreakfast, Mandy Marzullo, Jay Wachtel


More on TX DWI arrest decline

Grits' post the other day about declining DWI enforcement drew quite a bit of interest, so I thought I'd re-up a Reasonably Suspicious podcast segment Mandy Marzullo and I did in May on the decline of DWI and drunkenness arrests in Texas over the last several years. This recurring segment is called "Suspicious Mysteries," in which we discuss questions to which there are no definitive answers. Give it a listen:See a related discussion and more data on the topic here. Find a transcript of the segm...
Tags: Texas, Law, Scott, Ritz, DPS, Henson, Scott Henson, Gritsforbreakfast, Mandy Marzullo, DWI


Podcast: Colloff on blood spatter, causes of long lines at DPS license centers, understaffing at rural prisons, and other stories

If you can get past a few bad puns in the intro, I think we've got a good show for you this time on the better-late-than-never August 2018 edition of the Reasonably Suspicious podcast, Just Liberty's monthly discussion of Texas criminal-justice politics and policy.The segment I've been most looking forward to, of course, was the interview with Pamela Colloff, long-form journalist extraordinaire, who left Texas Monthly last year to write for ProPublica. We discussed her latest New York Times Maga...
Tags: Texas, Law, New York Times Magazine, Abbott, HARRIS, DPS, Texas Monthly, 5th Circuit, Texas Texas, Scott Henson, Texas DPS, Gritsforbreakfast, Texas Defender Service, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, Mandy Marzullo, Pam Colloff


Join podcast crew for Texas Defender Service meet-and-greet

My podcast partner, Mandy Marzullo, who is the executive director of the Texas Defender Service, asked if I'd let Grits readers know about that group's office warming event this evening. If you're in Austin, stop by and perhaps I'll see you there! Our August podcast has been delayed a bit because your correspondent has been significantly under the weather since I returned from a much-needed vacation. But we'll be recording it over the weekend, so look for a new one next week. You can listen to...
Tags: Law, Austin, Gritsforbreakfast, Texas Defender Service, Mandy Marzullo


Bail a 'tool of oppression,' SA police discipline full of holes, a decided lack of lessons from the McKinney pool party, and other stories

Here are a few odds and ends for Grits readers to consider while you're stuck inside (one hopes) waiting out these 105+ degree days! Austin police falsely accused man of pointing gun at officer A man in Austin sat in jail for 15 months on charges that he pointed a weapon at officers, but authorities have known for much of that time that, in fact, he did not. Once the defense found out about the contrary evidence, they were allowed to plead to a lesser offense and the defendant was released with ...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Austin, Atlantic, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Houston Chronicle, Legislature, McKinney, Huntsville, Fifth Circuit, Houston County, Mandy, Harris County


"Justice Needs a Platform" campaign updates, and notes from the Ophidian Uprising

If you enjoyed (or were creeped out by) the idea of "snakes on a plane," you'll get a kick out of this month's podcast intro focusing on an astonishing rash of snake-related law-enforcement stories slithering up out of the news mire in Texas over the last several months.Shifting back to our regular, half-hour format, in the July episode of the Reasonably Suspicious podcast, cohost Mandy Marzullo and I discuss outcomes from Just Liberty's "Justice Needs a Platform" campaign, which aimed to instal...
Tags: Texas, Law, Gop, Tennessee, Appleseed, Gritsforbreakfast, Texas Fair Defense Project, Mandy Marzullo


Reasonably Suspicious: The conservative case for reducing drug penalties, DWI arrests plummet, and other stories

Here's the latest edition (May 2018) of Just Liberty's Reasonably Suspicious podcast. Give it a listen! Here's what we discussed this month: Top Stories Prosecutors flailing with Twin Peaks biker massacre cases. Interview Scott talks to David Safavian of the American Conservative Union Foundation on why Texas should reduce penalties for low-level drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor. Suspicious Mysteries Why have the number of arrests for DWI and drunkenness plunged in...
Tags: Facebook, Texas, Law, America, David, Gop, House, San Antonio, Joan, Texas Rangers, Dallas Morning News, Flores, Abbott, Scott, Texas Department of Public Safety, Ritz


You're getting sleepy, so you won't notice Texas is still using junk science like 'forensic hypnosis' in death penalty cases

Before reading the rest of this post, relax, breathe, and follow the swinging pocket watch.Feeling suggestible? Great, now we can begin! Junkiest of junk science While Grits was out of pocket this last week, Lauren McGaughy of the Dallas News had a feature on forensic hypnosis in light of the looming execution of "Charles Don Flores, 48, [who] was convicted in the 1998 slaying of Elizabeth “Betty” Black after a neighbor was hypnotized to recall the features of two men she’d seen going into the ...
Tags: Texas, Law, Dallas Observer, Flores, Elizabeth, CCA, Los Angeles Police Department, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Court of Criminal Appeals, Zani, Gritsforbreakfast, Dallas News, Anthony Graves, Elizabeth Loftus, Farmers Branch, Juan Castillo


Import of recanted informant testimony never evaluated in capital case

In the latest Reasonably Suspicious podcast, my co-host, Texas Defender Service Executive Director Mandy Marzullo, described the case of Juan Castillo, who is scheduled for execution on May 16. His conviction was based in part on informant testimony which was later recanted, but the courts have never meaningfully evaluated how this allegedly false testimony affected Castillo's case. Since there has only been sparse coverage of these events, I pulled this segment out as a stand-alone. Give it a l...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Scotus, Death Penalty, US supreme court, Castillo, Mandy, CCA, Henson, Scott Henson, Court of Criminal Appeals, Gritsforbreakfast, Texas Defender Service, Marzullo, Keri Blakinger


Stop the Train! An Epic Indigent Defense Fail in Travis County, execution scheduled without hearing on snitch recantation, new music from Just Liberty's decarceration campaign, and other stories

Here's the latest episode of the Reasonably Suspicious podcast for April 2018. You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud., or listen to it here:In this episode, we discussed: Top Stories Travis County indigent defense system producing terrible outcomes. Texas Supreme Court to consider whether prosecutors can be fired for refusing to break the law. Listen to Just Liberty's new anti-incarceration/prison-closure jingle!  (~9:00 mark.) Death and Texas Juan Castillo may be executed next...
Tags: Texas, Supreme Court, Law, Austin, New York Times, Philadelphia, Houston, Yankees, US supreme court, Tarrant County, Thomas, Peter, Scott, PAUL, Brady, Reyes


Assessing Harris County bail litigation as it nears denouement

In last month's Reasonably Suspicious podcast, I interviewed Susanne Pringle, executive director of the Texas Fair Defense Project, about the denouement of the Harris County bail litigation, in which her organization was one of the plaintiffs. Since we spoke, Galveston County was sued by the ACLU over essentially similar grounds, and Dallas County already faced litigation over its bail system, so the Harris County domino falling may soon take down quite a few other county's pretrial detention re...
Tags: Texas, Law, Aclu, Dallas, Houston, Scott, HARRIS, Pringle, Fifth Circuit, Harris County, Galveston County, Susman Godfrey, 5th Circuit, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Susanne, Dallas County