Michael Morton's wrongful conviction illustrates the best and worst of science in the courtroom, the judge said when he dismissed the murder charge that put Morton in prison for 25 years. Advancements in science are leading to exonerations like Morton's, but criminal justice advocates say so-called junk science remains a problem.Full Story
The death penalty is the ultimate punishment for capital murder convictions in Texas, which leads the nation in the number of executions since the practice resumed in 1976.
The state has adopted various methods to administer the death penalty over the years, including hanging (1819-1923), electrocution (1924-1964) and lethal injection (1977-today), according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's ...
Root's scoop on Rick Perry's working retirement, Aaronson maps poverty in Texas, Aguilar on a voting rights warning shot from the U.S. Attorney General, Galbraith on the disclosure of chemicals used in fracking operations, Grissom on the drop in executions, Hamilton and M. Smith on UT-Austin President Bill Powers' rough year, Murphy and Tan and Dehn on the shortage of psychiatrists and Ramshaw on the federal refusal to exclude operators like Planned Parenthood from family planning programs: The best of our best content from December 12 to 16, 2011.Full Story
Leading a national downward trend in the use of the death penalty, Texas has executed just 13 prisoners so far in 2011, the lowest number in more than a decade. And juries meted out only eight new death sentences.Full Story
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals took some heat off of Gov. Rick Perry when it issued a stay of execution for Hank Skinner this week. And the governor has avoided any link to another case involving two of his appointees and a botched murder prosecution in Williamson County.Full Story
In our nonscientific survey of the state's governmental and political insiders, we asked about big problems, immigration, the death penalty, public education and whether Texans would vote for a Mormon if they agreed with that candidate on issues.Full Story
Facing a Wednesday execution date, convicted murderer Hank Skinner is again appealing to the state's highest criminal court to allow for new DNA tests he says could exonerate him. But the court previously has ruled against him — twice.Full Story
The latest UT/TT Poll on the 2012 race and other issues, Root on Herman Cain's stumble, Ramshaw and Titus on Texas Republicans who don't support Perry, Murphy maps presidential fundraising in Texas, Philpott on changing the constitution for parks and education, Hamilton on a case of higher ed separation anxiety, Grissom on the state's breakup with a death penalty witness, Galbraith on a congressman's search for a big leak, Aguilar on the Border Patrol's effort to operate in environmentally protected areas and Aaronson on a dramatic drop in government employment in Texas: The best of our best content from October 31 to November 4, 2011.Full Story
The insiders answered questions from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll for the second week in a row, this time on the death penalty, education, top issues facing Texas, and whether the people they know would vote for a Mormon candidate with whom they agree on issues.
More than one in five Texas voters say most of the people they know would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate even if they agreed with him or her on the issues, according to the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll.Full Story
The Texas Youth Commission terminated its contract Friday with a psychologist who testified repeatedly in death penalty cases that Hispanic and black men were more likely to be dangerous in the future.Full Story
Following a hearing today in federal court in Amarillo, a lawyer for death row inmate Hank Skinner said it will likely be up to the state courts to decide a fight over DNA testing in his case. Skinner is scheduled to be executed Nov. 9.Full Story
In the wake of Michael Morton's release from prison last week based on DNA testing that shows someone else killed his wife 25 years ago, defense lawyers are calling for reforms to ensure prosecutors must turn over exculpatory evidence.Full Story
Michael Morton, who served 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife Christine, now will be released after DNA evidence linked another man to the crime and to another murder 16 months later.Full Story
Aaronson on the rise in the state's unemployment rate, Aguilar on the push to mandate use of an electronic employment verification program, Galbraith on fears about the drought's impact on lake levels, Grissom on the latest in the Duane Buck case, Hamilton on the possible end of physics (academically speaking), Murphy updates our public employee pay app, Ramsey on David "Mitt" Dewhurst, Ramshaw on Rick Perry's campaign swing through Virginia and Iowa, Root on the deletion of gubernatorial emails and M. Smith on the teaching of safe sex where you'd least expect it: The best of our best content from Sept. 12-16, 2011.Full Story
At about 7:40 p.m., the U.S. Supreme Court stayed the execution of Duane Edward Buck. His trial was one of several cases in which a psychologist told jurors that his race made him more dangerous.Full Story
This week on the TribCast, Ross, Reeve, Brandi and Jay talk about the recent GOP debates, the death penalty and the return of the HPV vaccine controversy.Full Story
The former chairman of the Forensic Science Commission on why he believes the governor replaced him and why he argues it is critical for the Texas justice system that the commission finish its investigation into the Willingham arson case.Full Story
The Innocence Project is urging the Texas Forensic Science Commission to forge ahead with its investigation of arson cases despite a recent ruling from the state’s top lawyer that seemed to limit the panel’s authority.Full Story
Phyllis Taylor survived the 1995 shooting spree that ended with two others dead and Duane Buck on death row. Buck is scheduled to be executed on Sept. 15. Today, Taylor asked state officials to halt his execution.Full Story
Aaronson on the stats behind the Texas Miracle, Aguilar on an area of the budget that didn't get cut during the session, Dehn and Tan wrap-up our 31 Days, 31 Ways project, Galbraith talks to Todd Staples about the drought, Grissom on controversial executions during Rick Perry's tenure (plus a visualization by Murphy and Seger), Hamilton on the Rodney Dangerfield of Texas universities, Philpott on the search for clues in past Perry debates, Ramshaw on Perry's opposition to abortion rights and Root on Perry's assurances to conservatives that his past won't embarrass them: The best of our best content from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2, 2011.Full Story