The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct is charged with investigating judges accused of wrongdoing and meting out sanctions. But a good portion of what they do and the cases they hear are never made public. The Commission claims they do not have to share the information, and without anyone telling them otherwise, their secret proceedings will continue. [Read more…]
The Innocence Project released a study on how prosecutors are held accountable for their misconduct. What they found is that they are largely not held accountable at all. With a growing number of people being exonerated by DNA evidence and numerous cases of wrongful convictions coming to light, the number of prosecutors being charged with misconduct is growing, but why isn’t the number being disciplined? [Read more…]
A bill that changes how the state approaches juvenile justice matters was signed last week by Governor Rick Perry. The bill looks not only to save money but to save children from a life of crime, something more likely to happen if they are locked up in an institution. And perhaps surprisingly, it was a bill that received overwhelming support from both major political parties. [Read more…]
The United States Supreme Court overturned the sentence of Delma Banks Jr. in 2004. He had previously been found guilty and sentenced to die in the murder of 16 year old Richard Whitehead over 30 years ago. Now, as his case gets a new sentencing hearing, his attorneys argue the court should bar prosecutor James Elliot from the case, since he was the initial prosecutor, now rebuked by the High Court of the land. [Read more…]
The very same District Attorney who was elected on a platform that said “Judges aren’t referees, and justice is not a game” has turned her office into a playing field, offering prosecutors rewards for taking cases to trial rather than settling them through plea bargains. In 2008 she said convictions shouldn’t be “about the counting of scalps”, according to the Houston Chronicle. [Read more…]
The Dallas County alternative sentencing option is being heralded a success for a variety of reasons. Not only do the defendants prefer their home to a jail cell, the county can appreciate the hundreds of thousands of dollars the program has saved in its first year.
It’s nearly been a year since the county began the program and it’s already saved $366,016, according to the Dallas Morning News. And the cost of the program—already paid for. The County had budgeted only $200,000 to get the program on its feet, well surpassed by nearly two-fold. [Read more…]