Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should – Revisited

One year ago today, I wrote “Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should” to discuss the discretion of prosecutors. Prosecutors can and do choose which offenses and people they will prosecute. It’s a matter of resources. It’s a matter of proof. It’s a matter of discretion. Every case that is prosecuted requires some portion … 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

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

System is Broken

‘This idea of total incarceration just isn’t working.’—Justice Anthony Kennedy Justice Kennedy and Justice Breyer speak out against a broken system. I agree! Incarceration is expensive. Recidivism rates are higher following incarceration because those offenders can no longer get jobs. They didn’t get “help” in prison. They are left without sufficient resources following long periods … Read more

Jobs after Conviction: Not likely!

It is difficult enough to find work.  Saddle a person with a “conviction” or even a “probation” and employers will quickly pass on that applicant.  Our “tough on crime” mentality over the past 20-30 years has created an environment where 17 year olds (treated as adults for even minor offenses) with a first possession of … Read more