PerryPedia

Per National Trend, Perry Stingy With Pardons

Gov. Rick Perry in an interview with Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith
Gov. Rick Perry in an interview with Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith

Pardoning has become a holiday tradition for governors and the president, who each year choose a fortunate few whose criminal records will get wiped clean. But experts say state and national leaders are granting fewer pardons these days — and doing it in a way that undermines a critical criminal justice process that allows rehabilitated offenders to lead normal lives. Gov. Rick Perry, for example, has granted only about 180 pardons since 2001. By contrast, Bill Clements issued more than 800 pardons during his eight-year tenure, while Mark White issued nearly 500 in four years.

Cyclists Gear Up to Push Safe-Passage Laws

Despite its relatively low number of people who walk and bike to work, Texas ranked 10th-highest among states in fatality rates for bicyclists and pedestrians in a recent survey. Lawmakers who worked on a failed 2009 measure to create a buffer zone, giving bicyclists more room on the road, will try again in 2011.

Now They Have to Win as Republicans

State Representatives Aaron Pena and Allan Ritter announce their switch to the Republican Party in a press conference at Republican Party of Texas headquarters in Austin.
State Representatives Aaron Pena and Allan Ritter announce their switch to the Republican Party in a press conference at Republican Party of Texas headquarters in Austin.

Now that state Reps. Allan Ritter of Nederland and Aaron Peña of Edinburg have ditched the Democrats, attention turns to how they'll hold on to their seats. The former is following a time-tested strategy that has worked for others. The latter is challenging political history.

Murdered British Tourist Doesn't Qualify for State Funds

British tourist Thomas Reeve was shot and killed in an Amarillo bar last fall by an armed robber, leaving behind an infant daughter. His parents’ efforts to claim financial assistance from the state’s Crime Victims Compensation Fund have been rebuffed because their son wasn’t a U.S. resident.
British tourist Thomas Reeve was shot and killed in an Amarillo bar last fall by an armed robber, leaving behind an infant daughter. His parents’ efforts to claim financial assistance from the state’s Crime Victims Compensation Fund have been rebuffed because their son wasn’t a U.S. resident.

British tourist Thomas Reeve's murder in an Amarillo bar last fall shattered his family, which has been unable to claim financial assistance from the state’s Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund because he wasn't a U.S. resident.

Why You Should Invest in Texas Democrats

If we ever hope to see the change we desire, we have to continue to support our candidates — even after a terrible loss. The alternative is to simply give up, and just as that was not acceptable for Republicans when they found themselves on the losing side, it’s not acceptable for us.

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