Category Archives: Orwellian Threats to Rights

Forensic Evidence Is Not Trustworthy but Prosecutors Love It: The News This Week

This week heralds the end of the National Commission on Forensic Science, a group of experts entrusted with evaluating forensic science methods that are being brought into courtrooms by prosecutors all over the country.  It’s not good news.  Their job is important because so much of the current stuff labelled “scientific evidence” in criminal investigations…


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…


Federal Forfeiture Reform: 81% Property Seized By DOJ from People Never Charged With a Crime

Last week, the Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Justice published its report on federal civil forfeiture, entitled “Review of the Department’s Oversight of Cash Seizure and Forfeiture Activities.” The full report is available online and has been stored in the Michael Lowe Digital Library for your convenience.  Read it here.  …


Intellectually Disabled or Mentally Ill: Competency to Stand Trial and the Insanity Defense

This week, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued its opinion in Moore v. Texas (read it here).  This case is not only a victory for Texas Death Row inmate Bobby Moore; it’s also a major event in Texas criminal law. Why?  SCOTUS has ruled that the Texas legal procedure for determining if…


FBI Investigations and DOJ Prosecutions: Fighting for Your Privacy Rights

Of paramount concern to criminal defense attorneys is protecting due process and making sure that any investigation and prosecution by the government abides by constitutional protections like limited police powers, the right to privacy, and search and seizure protocols. Criminal Defense and Privacy Protections This is true for the underlying investigation into criminal activity.  It…


Child Pornography: Defending Against Overreaching Investigations Using the Internet

Here in Texas, specific teams of law enforcement are dedicated to investigating, arresting, and prosecuting child pornography laws.  Their focus is solely on building cases against individuals violating either state or federal child porn statutes.   That’s fine.  Task forces have been around for years. Overreaching Child Porn Investigations Violate the Law The problem today is…


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…


Getting Out of Jail in Texas on a Writ of Habeas Corpus

There’s more than one way to regain your freedom after an arrest here in Texas.  Under either federal or state law, you can challenge the legality of your situation – being held behind bars – by filing an application with the court for a “writ of habeas corpus.” What is a Writ of Habeas Corpus?…


Defenses in Texas Criminal Cases

Criminal defense isn’t just trial work, even though it sure looks like it if you watch all the TV crime shows. A lot of defending clients charged with crimes here in Texas involves working with evidence and negotiating with the government. Defending happens a lot of the time at a desk with a keyboard, or…