Category Archives: Texas Government Watch

Prosecutors and Police in Dallas: How Bad is It?

So, what’s going on here in Dallas County with our prosecutors and our police department?  Well, there are lots of things going on right now that impact criminal justice – and criminal defense – here in North Texas.     Because excessive force by the police and prosecutorial misconduct isn’t just stuff that happens in…


New Texas Criminal Laws 2017

The regular session of the 85th Texas Legislature ended on Memorial Day.  Bills not passed by the lawmakers and signed into law by the governor are dead in the water.  (Abbott vetoed 50 of them.) For the bills that did not become law: well, maybe next year. Governor Abbott has called for a special session…


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…


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…


Heroin Overdose Antidote Naloxone (Narcan) Available Over the Counter in Dallas and Fort Worth

Heroin overdoses kill people.  Ditto, other opioids – like fentanyl.  In fact, it’s much easier to OD on fentanyl than heroin.  Why?  Fentanyl is extremely powerful; more so than heroin. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Here in North Texas, combining heroin with synthetic opioid fentanyl is popular.  Fentanyl-heroin blends are sold…


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…


Will Texas End Civil Forfeiture in 2017?

Right now, the police can take your property and keep it forever even if you are never convicted of any crime.  Things may change soon, though. Here’s the skinny: New Law Proposed to End Civil Forfeiture in Texas In a matter of weeks, state lawmakers will return to Austin for the 85th Biennial Texas Legislative…


The New 2016 Marijuana Laws: What It Means for Texas

This month, several states had marijuana on their ballots.  Texas wasn’t among them, of course.  As a result of these November elections, we’ve got more states getting ready to offer medical marijuana in their jurisdictions as well as recreational marijuana within their boundaries. A very exciting result for pot proponents around the country as well…