Tribpedia: Criminal Justice

Faces of Death Row App Gets an Update

Mark Anthony Gonzalez arrived on death row last week after being convicted in the shooting death of Bexar County Sheriff Sgt. Kenneth Vann. With his arrival and the executions of Richard Masterson and James Freeman in January, there are now 252 people in Texas living with a death sentence.

 

James Garrett Freeman shot and killed Justin Hurst, a game warden, in 2007, according to court documents.
James Garrett Freeman shot and killed Justin Hurst, a game warden, in 2007, according to court documents.

Man Who Killed Texas Game Warden Executed

James Garrett Freeman shot and killed Justin Hurst, a game warden, following a high-speed chase in 2007. He was executed Wednesday evening, the second execution in Texas this year.

State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, is shown during a Sept. 22, 2015, committee hearing.
State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, is shown during a Sept. 22, 2015, committee hearing.

Analysis: Legislators Seeking a More Efficient Approach to Jail Policies

The “lock-them-up-and-throw-away-the-key” crowd has given way to another wave — across party lines, by the way — that’s trying to rework everything from whom police take to jail to who remains there overnight.

Captured fugitive drug cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by police in Mexico City on Jan. 8, 2016.
Captured fugitive drug cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by police in Mexico City on Jan. 8, 2016.

As "El Chapo" Extradition Unfolds, Border Region Could See Impact

While Mexican and U.S. officials discuss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán's extradition, some wonder if a surge in cartel violence along the Texas-Mexico border could follow. Through the extradition process could take years, Texas remains on a list of destinations the drug kingpin could be sent to answer for his alleged crimes. 

The booking photo (left) of Brian Encinia, the DPS trooper who pulled over and arrested Sandra Bland, on Jan. 7, 2016. Bland committed suicide in her Waller Co. jail cell a few days after her arrest.
The booking photo (left) of Brian Encinia, the DPS trooper who pulled over and arrested Sandra Bland, on Jan. 7, 2016. Bland committed suicide in her Waller Co. jail cell a few days after her arrest.

Indicted Trooper Surrenders, Will Plead Not Guilty

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Brian Encinia, indicted Wednesday on a perjury charge related to his arrest of Sandra Bland, surrendered to Texas Rangers Thursday afternoon and was taken to the Waller County Jail. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to media in June 2015.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to media in June 2015.

FanDuel, DraftKings Push Paxton Petition

The fantasy sports industry wants its Texas customers to sign petitions urging Attorney General Ken Paxton to leave sites like FanDuel and DraftKings alone, claiming they can legally operate in Texas. Some groups say the sites are hubs for online gambling, which is illegal. Others contend the games are based on skill.

Windham School District teacher Jody Addy teaches a class at the Robertson Unit in Abilene, Texas on Dec. 4, 2015. Addy has taught correctional education for 20 years and recently received the 2015 Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching award.
Windham School District teacher Jody Addy teaches a class at the Robertson Unit in Abilene, Texas on Dec. 4, 2015. Addy has taught correctional education for 20 years and recently received the 2015 Lane Murray Excellence in Teaching award.

Prison Teacher Almost Missed Her Calling

Every day, teacher Jody Addy walks through a metal detector, waits for a pat down, shows her ID and passes through locked gates before walking to her classroom in the middle of a maximum security prison in west central Texas.

Lawmakers Question DPS Director on Race Reporting

State troopers can end inaccurate reporting of the race and ethnicity of drivers they pull over by simply asking them for that information, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw told lawmakers Wednesday. McCraw and other witnesses testified on the issue Wednesday before the House County Affairs Committee.

A report released Tuesday by the Vera Institute of Justice offers several policy recommendations for law enforcement agencies that emphasize treatment and diversion for sex workers and individuals with mental illnesses and addictions.
A report released Tuesday by the Vera Institute of Justice offers several policy recommendations for law enforcement agencies that emphasize treatment and diversion for sex workers and individuals with mental illnesses and addictions.

Report Recommends Police Reform Mental Health Policies

Holding up San Antonio as an example, a report released Tuesday by the Vera Institute of Justice recommends law enforcement agencies change their practices regarding mental illness, sex workers and addiction.

Michael Dominguez was assaulted outside Station 4, a bar on Cedar Springs Road, which is the central thoroughfare in Oak Lawn.
Michael Dominguez was assaulted outside Station 4, a bar on Cedar Springs Road, which is the central thoroughfare in Oak Lawn.

Assault Victims in Dallas' Oak Lawn Call For More Security

There have been 11 violent attacks and robberies over the past two months in the Oak Lawn neighborhood of Dallas. It's home to a popular LGBT entertainment district, but police don’t believe the incidents are related. For some victims, one of the hardest feats has been opening up about their attacks.

Read the full story at KERA News.

Harris County Sheriff's Office headquarters in Houston, Texas
Harris County Sheriff's Office headquarters in Houston, Texas

Deficient Police Psych Reviews Prompt Revamp

After a Houston psychologist was discovered vouching for the mental health of would-be police officers without even meeting them, the state is revamping its approach to screening the psychological and emotional health of law enforcement applicants.

Bernie Tiede leaves the Panola County Courthouse on May 6, 2014.
Bernie Tiede leaves the Panola County Courthouse on May 6, 2014.

Judge Moves "Bernie" Trial to Neighboring County

Convicted murderer Bernie Tiede's new sentencing trial will be moved from Carthage — where he killed 81-year-old Marjorie Nugent nearly two decades ago — to Henderson, in a neighboring East Texas county, a visiting state district judge ruled Tuesday.