Category Archives: DA Watch

Stingray Use by Feds and Local Police is Growing: Are You Being Monitored?

Police officers and law enforcement agencies are limited by the federal constitution as well as federal and state laws in what they can do. They are not supposed to snoop on citizens or eavesdrop on people unless they’ve got specific legal authorization to do so. . . The problem is — as any experienced criminal…

Police Who Lie On the Witness Stand: Did You Know Prosecutors Keep Lists of Their Names?

It wasn’t until 1963 that the U.S. Supreme Court forced prosecutors to do the right thing and share all the facts about a case with defense lawyers before they tried someone for a serious crime and tried to get a conviction. In the case of Brady v. Maryland, John Brady had been convicted of murder…

Prosecutorial Misconduct Still a Big, Big Problem: District Attorneys Do Bad Things

We monitor cases of prosecutorial misconduct here in Texas and elsewhere, and in the past we’ve reported on things like:  Trusting Prosecutors With Forensic Lab Evidence? Consider Harris County District Attorney: Notices Sent of 100s of Wrongful Convictions Prosecutorial Misconduct in Texas: Continuing Injustice Prosecutorial Misconduct Rules Issued by Texas Supreme Court: Where is Michael…

Texas Police Excessive Force: Concern Isn’t Just the Police Officer, It’s the Entire Police Department

For the past two nights, there has been rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, in the aftermath of the grand jury determination not to bring charges against a police officer who used lethal force. That’s Missouri; what about police and lethal force here in Dallas and North Texas? Good question. 1. Dallas Web Site: Police Department’s Lethal…

Trusting Prosecutors With Forensic Lab Evidence? Consider Harris County District Attorney: Notices Sent of 100s of Wrongful Convictions

Here in Dallas County, the District Attorney’s Office is getting its very own forensics evidence lab set up smack dab in the courthouse. So convenient, right? We’ve posted on this development here (read the post) and others have voiced their concern over having the prosecutor so very-very-close to the evidence lab. Well, here’s more to ponder…

Dallas County Opens Digital Crime Lab: DA Snoops Your Cell Phone

There was an important news update out of Craig Watkins’ office that may have been overshadowed yesterday, what with all the November 2014 Election coverage and the scoop that Watkins lost his job to Republican challenger Susan Hawk. After all, there’s lots to ponder in Dallas criminal justice circles about what Hawk’s transition into the…

Dallas Ebola Victim: No Evidence of Intent to Deceive; DA Assault Charges Were Wacky

Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan died early this morning at Texas Presbyterian Hospital here in Dallas, where he had been quarantined and isolated from all human contact for the past 14 days.  It’s sad to think that Thomas Duncan died alone. Our sincerest condolences to his family and loved ones who are grieving their loss…

Prosecutorial Misconduct in Texas: Continuing Injustice

For criminal defense lawyers in Texas, the idea that prosecutors are human and sometimes do very bad things isn’t news. It’s something to be monitored during every case and almost every day you ask yourself the question: is the prosecutor trying to pull a fast one here? Real life isn’t like TV shows, albeit even…

Defense Lessons of the Dallas Crime Lab and the Michael Phillips Exoneration

The Dallas Crime Lab has made the national news (along with the history books) by being the first crime lab to have its DNA evidence form the basis of a wrongful conviction exoneration where the defendant didn’t move for the re-testing of the crime lab results. This is a big national news story.  You can…

THE CRUEL REALITY OF CRIMINAL EVIDENCE: IT’S JUST NOT THAT RELIABLE

EVIDENCE IN CRIMINAL CASES CANNOT BE BLINDLY TRUSTED: TEXAS CRIMINAL EVIDENCE ISN’T LIKE IT IS ON TV On television, an amazing number of cop shows succeed in drawing large audiences: series and spin-offs where handsome men and beautiful women work hard in scientific labs to produce iron-clad evidence that convicts the bad guy. They rival…