Juarez crime harms El Paso coffers
The City of El Paso can measure the harm from decreased international bridge traffic to and from its troubled sister city, Juarez, by watching the money dry up in its city coffers: income from tolls makes up 3-4% of the city budget. Juarez saw an astonishing twenty more murders over the weekend.
No more private Idaho
After the state of Idaho pulled its prisoners, the Geo Group (a private prison company) gave pink slips for Christmas to 75 employees at the Billy Clayton Detention Center in Littlefield, which will close its doors in January. See the blog Texas Prison Bidness for more private prison stories.
Blaming the victim in Galveston
What should you tell your kids to do if "Three men pull up in an unmarked,windowless van, yell about you being a prostitute, and grab you, intending to stuff you into the van." If you're in Galveston, the answer, apparently, is supposed to be "go quietly." Otherwise, they might turn out to be cops and the child will be beaten and charged with resisting
Most of the time justice
Former Bexar County DA Sam Milsap points to the cases of nine actually innocent Texans who've been exonerated off death row and says, "We cannot sanction a death penalty system that gets it right most of the time."
Waco criminal defense lawyer Walter Reaves asks "How can someone convince themselves they are not guilty?"
Do you think the Lege will take his advice?
Mark Bennett, a Houston crimnal defense lawyer, thinks Texas' statute regulating online solicitation of a minor is unconstitutionally overbroad.
More police pork
There are more sources of law enforcement pork out there than I'd ever realized: TXDoT is giving police departments grants to pay for overtime on DWI enforcement.
Taping interrogations won't fix Miranda
Scott Greenfield, a New York lawyer and blogger, says assumptions behind the Miranda decision were deeply flawed, but cautions against embracing quick-fix refoms like recording interrogations that won't solve more fundamental problems.
There's a nice profile in the Temple Daily Telegram of the unsung heroes working at Central Texas Youth Services.
Shapiro: Texas sex offender registry strong enough
Texas probably won't bother to comply with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which is a federal statute requiring states to make their sex offender registration requirements harsher or lose certain federal grant funding. The money quote: "In Texas, not complying could cost about $700,000, while complying will cost millions more. That may make the decision simple, said Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, long an advocate of strong sex offender laws. 'Seven hundred thousand on the one hand vs. $20 million on the other hand? It's pretty easy to resolve,' she said. 'Our laws are strong, and we don't need to comply.'"
Don't taze me, bro
Amnesty International published a new report (pdf) on police use of Tasers.
Making the most of second chances
Finally, a feel good story: At Women in Crime Ink, Cynthia Hunt says there are legal and life lessons we could all learn from Marcus Dixon, a Dallas Cowboys backup defensive end who was freed last year from a Georgia prison where he was serving a mandatory 10-year sentence for what was essentially a statutory rape case from when he was 18. (The same law gave a ten year minimum for consensual oral sex among teens.) Public outcry and some fancy lawyering paid for with his adopted parents' life savings won Dixon's freedom and early release. After returning to school and finishing college as a 3-year captain and member of the Dean's list at Hampton University, he earned a spot on the Cowboys' squad this year as an undrafted free agent.