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Article • August 4, 2017
$187,000 Settlement for TX County Jail Administrator Turned Whistleblower by Joe Watson by Joe Watson A former jail administrator in Bastrop County, Texas, agreed to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit for $187,000 against his old boss, a former sheriff who had pleaded guilty to charges of corruption and abuse of ...
Going to Prison in Texas in 2015 by William T. Habern by William T. Habern, David P. O’Neil, and Debra Bone Introduction For over 30 years our firm has represented offenders and their families in prison and parole administrative and legal issues. The first version of this article was published ...
Texas Prisoner was Emaciated and Sick when Killed by Cellmate by A fight with his cellmate, Joe Greggs, led to the January 19, 2016 death of prisoner Alton Rodgers at the William P. Clements Unit in Texas. An official report listed Rodgers’ fatal injury as trauma consistent with having his ...
Article • July 28, 2017 • from PLN August, 2017
Suicide at Texas Jail Results in Firings, Lawsuit, Investigation and Legislation by Matthew Clarke by Matt Clarke On July 10, 2015, Sandra Bland was stopped while driving in Prairie View, Texas. The 28-year-old Illinois native was in the process of moving to Waller County when she was stopped by Texas ...
Article • July 28, 2017 • from PLN August, 2017
Forced to Endure Extreme Heat, Prisoners are Casualties of Texas’ Climate Denial, Documents Show by Candice Bernd by Candice Bernd, Truthout On a spring day in May, temperatures in Dallas, Texas were already in the 90s. Sunlight glinted off the barbed wire perimeter outside the Hutchins State Jail, located just ...
Article • July 20, 2017
Filed under: War on Drugs, Juries
When Laws Are Unjust: A Primer on Jury Nullification by Joe Watson by Joe Watson The 2014 trial of Jacob Lavaro—a 19-year-old from Austin, Texas, who was facing five years to life for making a pound-and-a-half of pot brownies— has again provoked the ire of criminal justice reform advocates, including ...
Ross v. City of Sulphur Spring, TX, Amended Complaint, Wrongful Death TASER, 2017 Case 4:16-cv-00095-RAS-CAN Document 66 Filed 03/03/17 Page 1 of 30 PageID #: 273 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS SHERMAN DIVISION SHELLEY ROSS, as REPRESENTATIVE of the ESTATE of TONY CHANCE ...
Ross v. City of Sulphur Spring, TX, Settlement, Wrongful Death TASER, 2017 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS SHERMAN DIVISION SHELLY ROSS, as REPRESENTATIVE of the ESTATE of TONY CHANCE ROSS, and SHELLY ROSS and TONY ROSS, in their Individual Capacity, § § § ...
Article • June 30, 2017 • from PLN July, 2017
Filed under: Money/Property
Texas Judges Jail Defendants too Poor to Pay Fines, Debts by Matthew Clarke by Matt Clarke The original 1836 Constitution of the Republic of Texas included a prohibition against imprisoning people who were unable to pay their debts. In the modern Texas Constitution, that concept is enshrined in the state’s ...
Article • June 30, 2017 • from PLN July, 2017
Local Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Challenged in Texas by Matthew Clarke by Matt Clarke In many U.S. cities, local ordinances prohibit registered sex offenders from living in certain areas – generally within 1,000 feet or more of schools, playgrounds and daycare centers. But when a city is just a few ...
Article • June 30, 2017 • from PLN July, 2017
Filed under: DNA Testing/Samples
Texas Forensic Science Commission Addresses Problem with DNA Testing Protocols by Matthew Clarke by Matt Clarke The mission of the Texas Forensic Science Commission (TFSC) is to set standards for the use of scientific evidence in the state’s criminal justice system. In investigating the proper standards for DNA testing during ...
Article • June 30, 2017 • from PLN July, 2017
Texas Fraud Prosecutions Privately Funded by Insurance Company by Matthew Clarke by Matt Clarke Texas lawmakers recently took action to address the relationship between the Texas Mutual Insurance Company (TMIC) and the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, after finding the connection between the pair was too close for comfort. Since ...
Article • June 14, 2017
Hearing Required Before Assessment of Appointed Attorney Fees in Texas by On July 20, 2016, a Texas court of appeals held that, before fees incurred by a court-appointed attorney are assessed against an indigent criminal defendant, the court must hold a hearing and determine that the defendant is capable of ...
Fifth Circuit Upholds Houston Police Officer's Retaliation Jury Award by On August 19, 2015, the Fifth Circuit court of appeals upheld a federal jury's $23,000 award for retaliation by the police department and returned an additional award of $127,000 for evaluation of how much of it was due to future ...
Article • June 14, 2017
Filed under: Medication, Death Penalty
Fifth Circuit Denies Stay in Challenge to Texas Execution Drug by On September 12, 2016, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a stay of execution to five Texas death row prisoners challenging the state's failure to retest the execution drugs it use before each use. Jeffery Wood, Rolando Ruiz, ...
Article • June 14, 2017
Fifth Circuit Denied Claim of Immunity by Sheriff's Deputy, Rejects His Appeal in Fourth Amendment False Arrest Lawsuit by On September 14, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denied the appeal of a Hunt County, Texas, sheriff's deputy who claimed the lawsuit against him for ...
Article • June 9, 2017 • from PLN June, 2017
Filed under: Databases, Wrongful Death
University of Texas Researcher Makes Data on In-custody Deaths Comprehensible by Matthew Clarke by Matt Clarke All law enforcement agencies, jails and prisons in Texas are required by state law to report in-custody deaths, but the raw statistics are not easily understood. That shortcoming prompted University of Texas Institute for ...
Article • June 9, 2017 • from PLN June, 2017
Texas Leads the Nation in Exonerations, Costing More than $93 Million by Christopher Zoukis by Christopher Zoukis On March 13, 1997, 41-year-old Dahn Clary, Jr. of Texarkana, Texas was arrested and charged with the aggravated sexual assault of his best friend’s 11-year-old son. The boy told his father and police ...
Article • June 9, 2017 • from PLN June, 2017
Filed under: Attorneys, Death Penalty
Texas Lawyer Quits with 0-34 Record of Losses in Death Penalty Cases by Matthew Clarke by Matt Clarke If you were on trial for your life, you would want the best possible lawyer. That would exclude Houston, Texas attorney Jerry Guerinot, 71, who has a great deal of experience but ...
Article • June 9, 2017 • from PLN June, 2017
Filed under: Medication, Death Penalty
Feds Impound Illegally Imported Execution Drugs in Arizona, Other States by Joe Watson by Joe Watson Arizona's Department of Corrections (ADC) imported a drug used for executions, but federal agents seized and impounded the illegal shipment at the Phoenix airport before it could be used for lethal injections. The ADC ...
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