Waller County Jail Report

 The Waller County Civilian Commission report is finally out, and you can read it here: Recommended Police and Jail Practices We finished our review, and our report! Joined by Hon. Craig Washington, Hon. Morris Overstreet, Juan L. Guerra, Randall Kallinen, and Paul Looney, I spent countless hours trying to help the citizens of Waller County. In … Read more

Right to Bear Stun Guns

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a Massachusetts woman just might have a 2nd Amendment right to carry a stun gun. She was originally arrested, charged, and convicted of carrying a stun gun in violation of Massachusetts’s law. All agreed she bought and carried the stun gun for protection from her abusive ex-boyfriend. The Court, … Read more

Unforeseen Consequences

Criminal convictions have intended consequences. They carry punishments that include life and liberty. Convictions can cause someone to be jailed for a period of time. They can cause payment of fines and participation in rehabilitative programs. But what happens when the punishment is over? After the punishment comes the collateral consequences – the unforeseen consequences … Read more

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

Sure, a prosecutor can choose to prosecute a case, but that doesn’t always mean he or she should. Trace Cocaine Cases Years ago, then Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos made the choice to decline prosecution of trace amounts of cocaine. This didn’t mean she approved or condoned cocaine possession. It didn’t mean cocaine cases … Read more

Use of Juvenile Priors

One of the questions I’m asked most frequently is whether a particular juvenile prior adjudication can be used to enhance a new adult criminal charge and bar probation eligibility. Under Penal Code §12.42, felony offenses can result in enhanced punishments for those previously convicted of felony offenses. When looking at a prior juvenile adjudication, certain … Read more

DNA Errors: Big Deal or Not?

Have you seen the news? The FBI has announced errors in its database which is used across the nation and in Texas. In two prior blog posts (on separate sites), I addressed this issue. August 7, Just How Accurate is DNA?, HCCLA.org (with memo downloads) September 18, FBI DNA Calculation Errors, HCCLAtv.com Today, Fox 26 News … Read more

Sept 1, Day of New Laws

This September 1, the criminal justice system finds itself amidst change. Below are some of the highlights of our new legislation. Theft Through House Bill 1396, Texas passed legislation that changes the “value ladder” for many property crimes. Property crimes such as theft, mischief, graffiti, frauds and other various offenses use the “value” of the … Read more