Category Archives: DA Watch

Attacks on Police in Texas are Hate Crimes under 2017 Police Protection Act

Look in the dictionary and “hate crime” is defined as any crime that is motivated by hostility towards the victim because he or she is a member of a specific group (like gender, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation). The FBI has its own definition:  a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in…


Speedy Trials in Texas: Prosecuting “Killer Nurse” Genene Jones for 1981 Crime

Do you remember where you were in 1981?  Were you even alive in 1981? Let’s think back … 1981 was the year: President Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley; the CDC recognized the first five cases of AIDS in five homosexual men diagnosed with a “rare form of pneumonia” in Los Angeles; Donkey Kong…


Texas Prosecutor on Trial for Prosecutorial Misconduct

Prosecutorial misconduct is a problem of epidemic proportions in this country.  There is lots of discussion in criminal justice circles (and elsewhere) about how best to rein in these rogues and stop the rampant injustice created by prosecutorial misconduct. For more on the severity and seriousness of the prosecutorial misconduct problem in Texas, read our…


Gang Crime Charges: Increasing Prosecution of Gang-Related Crimes in Texas

This week, President Trump publicly blamed former President Obama for allowing known Central American gang MS-13 to gain a foothold in the United States.  See, “Trump blames Obama for formation of MS-13 crime gang,” published by the Business Insider on April 17, 2017. Two months ago, the President signed a series of three executive orders…


Prosecutor Withholding Evidence from Defense in Federal Criminal Case

In a criminal case, someone’s freedom — or even their life — is on the line.  Legally, this places special duties upon the prosecution to be fair with the defendant.  All sorts of laws exist to protect against abuse by the state: things like the Speedy Trial Act, for instance. Prosecutorial Duty to Turn Over…


Texas Needs New Asset Forfeiture Law Reform: Spread the Word

Asset forfeiture:  yes, we’re back on the stump about it again. First, let’s talk about the status of the pending asset forfeiture reform legislation as of the end of February 2017. We wrote about this proposed legislation right around Christmas; see the details in “Will Texas End Civil Forfeiture in 2017?” 1.  Texas Senate On…


Juvenile Arrests in Texas: When Kids Are Charged With Adult Crimes

Here in Texas, there’s lots of talk about what is the right age for prosecution as an adult and not as a juvenile.  Is Texas wrong to prosecute seventeen year olds as adults?  Big hint here: the United States Supreme Court has ruled that in the United States of America, you become a legal adult…


Prosecutorial Misconduct in Texas: Right Now, it’s an Appellate Fight

Prosecutorial misconduct isn’t going away.  It’s a very serious problem here in Texas.  And it’s been a huge evil lurking in our criminal justice system for many years. Why is it so wicked?  Because a prosecutor has so much control over what happens to an individual who has had their freedom taken from them by…


Eavesdropping on Criminal Defense Lawyers:  Attorney Overhearings as Evidence

Occasionally clients or potential clients will voice concerns about the safety of communication with their criminal defense lawyer.  It’s understandable, given all the technological advances in snooping devices. Snooping Gizmos So You Can Eavesdrop Surf online and you can find all sorts of ways to listen into phone conversations, as well as monitor things being…


Lineups and Showups: What They Are and Why They’re Challenged

Lineups and Showups Use Eyewitness Testimony to Identify Suspects Watch most any TV detective show and sooner or later, you’re going to see the police (and sometimes prosecutors, too) identify their Bad Guy with a lineup or showup. These are popular ways for TV police to have eyewitnesses point the finger at the bad guy. …