Terri Langford Reporter

Terri Langford Born in Oceanside, California. Naturalized Texan. Comes by her tough love of government honestly. She majored in it at the University of Texas. First courtroom stories were in the Atticus Finch-like Lowndes County courthouse in Valdosta, Georgia, where two months into that first job for the Jacksonville-based Florida Times Union, she found herself covering a quadruple murder. Eventually moved to Jacksonville, covering social services and began unpacking the conflicted rules of government social work and public housing redevelopment for readers. Joined the Associated Press in Dallas and worked there and in Houston covering some of the state's biggest trials and complicated legal issues including the Branch Davidian standoff with ATF agents and the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas as well as witnessing several state executions. Worked for the Dallas Morning News and the Houston Chronicle, where she covered everything from airport security, civil courts and the 9/11 attacks to the strains of the Texas Child Protective Services system, the state's removal of more than 400 children from their polygamist parents in West Texas, the Allan Stanford Ponzi scheme trial and the world of Medicare fraud in Houston's private ambulance networks. Langford was named Texas Reporter of the Year in 2011 for her work on the connection between private ambulances in Houston and the non-regulated mental health clinics there. Before joining the Tribune in March 2014, she tried her hand at public radio, working for WNYC in Trenton, covering New Jersey government.

Recent Contributions

Abbott Stands By Transparency Record Some Say is Mixed

Republican attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks one-on-one with members of the media following his appearance at a Congress Avenue coffeehouse on July 10, 2014.
Republican attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks one-on-one with members of the media following his appearance at a Congress Avenue coffeehouse on July 10, 2014.

Ask Texas Attorney General and gubernatorial hopeful Greg Abbott about his record on government transparency and he will tell you it is one worth bragging about. Open government advocates say his record is more varied.

Timeline: A History of Lethal Drug Use in Texas

This video provides a look at the Texas execution chamber inside the Huntsville Unit. The images were provided to The Texas Tribune by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice because news photographers are not allowed inside.

 

Texas used a three-drug lethal injection cocktail for nearly three decades. But since 2011, a dwindling drug supply has forced Texas and other states to find other drugs to administer the death penalty. 

Agents Want More Time With Texas College Athletes

Former A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel recently drafted by the NFL Cleveland Browns was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08:  Johnny Manziel of the Texas A&M Aggies takes the stage after he was picked #22 overall by the Cleveland Browns during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on May 8, 2014 in New York City.
Former A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel recently drafted by the NFL Cleveland Browns was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08: Johnny Manziel of the Texas A&M Aggies takes the stage after he was picked #22 overall by the Cleveland Browns during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on May 8, 2014 in New York City.

While universities and Texas legislators support state rules limiting sports agents to a quick pre-season meet-and-greet with college football players, agents say the short window of access can lead NFL hopefuls to make bad decisions.

 

TDCJ Viewing Policy Reduces Witnesses to Executions

Execution chamber shot from one of two witness viewing rooms at the Huntsville Unit in Huntsville Texas.
Execution chamber shot from one of two witness viewing rooms at the Huntsville Unit in Huntsville Texas.

As public scrutiny of the state's execution process is increasing, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is more strictly implementing a media viewing policy that means fewer witnesses to the controversial procedure.

AG: Prisons Can Keep Info About Execution Drugs Secret

Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks to press after voting in the primary on March 4th, 2014 at South Austin church. Abbott is running for the Republican nomination for Governor of Texas
Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks to press after voting in the primary on March 4th, 2014 at South Austin church. Abbott is running for the Republican nomination for Governor of Texas

Reversing his stance in three previous rulings, Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott on Thursday ruled that the state prison system can withhold information about the suppliers of drugs used in lethal injections.

Costs and Questions as TX Implements New Discovery Law

Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs Senate Bill 1611, known as the Michael Morton Act, which requires prosecutors to disclose evidence in criminal cases. Morton served nearly 25 years in prison for his wife's murder before he was exonerated in 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signs Senate Bill 1611, known as the Michael Morton Act, which requires prosecutors to disclose evidence in criminal cases. Morton served nearly 25 years in prison for his wife's murder before he was exonerated in 2011.

The Michael Morton Act is raising awareness about the importance of discovery in criminal cases, lawyers say. But both prosecutors and defense lawyers agree there are still some kinks to iron out.

With State Unit Gone, Fuel Tax Fraud Cases Flow to DAs

Ismael Gonzalez, 22, with DNT Construction filled his tanker truck with dyed diesel fuel at Tex-Con Oil Company on May 20, 2014, in Austin.
Ismael Gonzalez, 22, with DNT Construction filled his tanker truck with dyed diesel fuel at Tex-Con Oil Company on May 20, 2014, in Austin.

Local prosecutors are now responsible for pursuing cases targeting fuel tax theft after the public integrity unit's motor fuels tax fraud division shuttered last summer, a move that followed state funding cuts. Some are concerned that criminals will see less of a deterrent to fuel tax fraud schemes.

Lehmberg: Perry Attorney Wants Private Entrance to Grand Jury Room

Gov. Rick Perry holds his Texas driver's license and his wallet as he heads to a west Austin early voting site on October 30, 2013.
Gov. Rick Perry holds his Texas driver's license and his wallet as he heads to a west Austin early voting site on October 30, 2013.

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg says the private attorney representing Gov. Rick Perry in grand jury proceedings has asked a judge to allow his witnesses to enter through a private door — which bypasses the media.