The mental health code doesn't give police the right to take a gun from someone who is having a mental health crisis. Mental health advocates, judges and law enforcement officials are urging state lawmakers to address gaps like that one.Full Story
Brandi Grissom is The Texas Tribune's managing editor and joined the staff when the online publication launched in 2009. In addition to editing duties, Grissom leads the Tribune's coverage of criminal justice issues. During her tenure at the Tribune, she was chosen as a 2012 City University of New York Center on Media, Crime and Justice/H.F. Guggenheim Journalism Fellow and was a fellow at the 2012 Journalist Law School at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. Grissom, along with Tribune multimedia producer Justin Dehn, received a 2012 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting for work on the case of Megan Winfrey, who was acquitted of murder in February 2013 after the Trib’s coverage brought statewide attention the case. Grissom joined the Tribune after four years at the El Paso Times, where she acted as a one-woman Capitol bureau. Grissom won the Associated Press Managing Editors First-Place Award in 2007 for using the Freedom of Information Act to report stories on a variety of government programs and entities, and the ACLU of Texas named her legislative reporter of the year in 2007 for her immigration reporting. She previously served as managing editor at The Daily Texan and has worked for the Alliance Times-Herald, the Taylor Daily Press, the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung and The Associated Press. A native of Alliance, Neb., she has a degree in history from the University of Texas.
State Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and other advocates want a new law to ensure that Texas doesn't execute offenders who are intellectually disabled. Prosecutors say the existing law already does that.Full Story
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday issued an acquittal in the case of Megan Winfrey, 24, who has been behind bars since 2007 in a murder case in which her conviction was based almost entirely on evidence from dog-scent lineups.Full Story
This six-part series explores the intersections of the mental health and criminal justice systems in Texas, examining the case of Andre Thomas, a death row inmate who awaits a court decision on whether he is sane enough for execution.
Widely variable discovery practices in Texas makes access to justice dependent upon where a defendant is charged, according to a report released Wednesday, giving weight to bills that would create uniform discovery procedures.Full Story
In the wake of Michael Morton's high-profile exoneration, state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, filed a bill Tuesday that aims to ensure more accountability for prosecutors who are accused of withholding evidence.Full Story
Andre Thomas' case raises critical questions about how the justice system deals with mentally ill defendants who commit heinous crimes and whether they should be exempt from the death penalty.Full Story
Andre Thomas is among thousands of mentally ill inmates in a sprawling state prison system that is struggling to keep pace with the increasing need for mental health care. Medical staff say they need more state funding.Full Story
Hospitals don't have authority to detain people in mental crisis who voluntarily enter their facilities. Advocates for reform say that is one of many holes in the state’s nearly 30-year-old mental health code.Full Story
During his troubled adolescence, lawyers for death row inmate Andre Thomas say he never received the mental health care he needed. In Texas, there are few mechanisms to diagnose and treat youths who suffer from mental illness.Full Story
Texas has a long and unhappy history when it comes to mental health care. From the days of state-run asylums to underfunded local mental health services, those who have mental illness have faced daunting challenges finding care.Full Story
The case of death row inmate Andre Thomas offers a lens through which to examine the effects of a long underfunded mental health system and raises important questions about how Texas punishes the mentally ill.Full Story
This timeline provides an in-depth look at some of the key moments in the case of Andre Thomas, a mentally ill death row inmate who began exhibiting signs of mental illness as a boy and committed a brutal triple murder in 2004. Blind because he pulled out both of his eyes while behind bars, Thomas awaits a federal court's decision on whether he is sane enough to be executed.Full Story
A bill filed by state Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, on Monday would require prosecutors and defense lawyers in criminal cases to open their files to their opponents. It could have momentum in the wake of Michael Morton's exoneration.Full Story
An indignant and defensive Ken Anderson brought a dramatic end to a week of emotional testimony in the unusual court examination of whether he should face criminal charges for his 1987 prosecution of Michael Morton.Full Story