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February 8, 2006

Reforming Texas justice

Thanks to this post at Grits for Breakfast, I see that the Texas Governor's Criminal Justice Advisory Council has released this interesting report about improving the state's criminal justice system.  As detailed in this press release, the report's proposals include more DNA testing, more forensics labs, and greater monitoring of sex offenders.  Of course, the state's administration of capital punishment is integral to some aspects of the report and its recommendations.  Media coverage of the report is available from the Houston Chronicle and the AP.

February 8, 2006 at 04:22 PM | Permalink

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May I offer a real world, not virtual, example of Texas justice? My brother, William Harrison, TDCJ #864645, is currently serving a twenty year sentence for one count of aggravated sexual assault. That's right, one count. He got the maximum sentence possible his first time at bat. The police found several volumes of sexually explicit photos in his possession and the court figured everybody shown was a past victim. All his girlfriends in high school and college, who posed, suddenly became victims. His wife of almost ten years, whom he had taken hundreds of pictures of, also became a victim. The fact he had been married for almost a decade wasn't mentioned even once during his trial. The DA focused on a past 1970 arrest for burglary in Arlington, Virginia- no mention was made that the charge had been dismissed and declared nolle prossed. I should know, I was charged similarly. I retired from the federal government in 2005 after almost 30 years of service and I held a security clearance the entire time, this wouldn't have been possible if I had committed a felony. Texas law also allowed the DA to cite past misdemeanors without telling the court they too were not convictions. No Texas citizen owes support or loyalty to such a court system in my estimation. The public has to raise their hand and tell the whole truth while so called officers of the court enjoy a lower standard of conduct.

Posted by: Jim Harrison | Apr 24, 2006 2:48:06 AM

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