Mark Alan Norwood, a 57-year-old Bastrop resident, was arrested today and charged with the 1986 murder of Christine Morton. Michael Morton, her husband, was exonerated of her murder last month after spending nearly 25 years in prison, when DNA connected Norwood to the Morton murder and to the murder of another Austin woman, Debra Masters Baker.Full Story
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is the state agency responsible for managing state prisons and jails and the oversight of more than 150,000 offenders. The agency also supervises offenders released from prison on parole.
The board is composed of nine members who are appointed by the governor to staggered, six-year terms. The governor also designates one member as ...
On this week's TribCast, Ross, Reeve, Brandi, and Jay review the latest criminal justice headlines, consider the difference between news and gossip in light of the latest Herman Cain developments, and explain what's going on with redistricting.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.
A report released Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union criticizes the private prison industry for profiting at the expense of a growing prison population.Full Story
The momentous and long-awaited move was welcomed by the family of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was convicted of killing his three daughters in a 1991 arson fire. He was executed in 2004, and scientists have since discredited the science that was used to cement his arson conviction.Full Story
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied a request from former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson to keep him from providing testimony in an investigation of what led to the wrongful conviction of Michael Morton.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
Jesse and Caitlin Baker recently learned of the most dramatic development in the mystery of their mother's murder in nearly two decades of probing for clues. The DNA discovery has prompted new hopes for long-awaited answers.Full Story
Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley this morning announced the appointment of the Texas Attorney General as special prosecutor in the Michael Morton case. A special grand jury is also being formed, he said.Full Story
The Williamson County district attorney this afternoon withdrew a motion he had filed seeking to quickly dismiss the Michael Morton case. Morton's attorneys worried that he was attempting to quash investigation of allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.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
Murphy, Ramshaw and Root on Rick Perry and race, Philpott on Perry's vague economic plans, Tan and Wiseman on Barack Obama's foray into Texas to defend his jobs plan, Aguilar on Perry's proposal to send U.S. troops to Mexico, Ramshaw on efforts to leash rising health care costs, M. Smith on upcoming legal challenges to the state's school finance system, Aaronson interactively explores Medicare spending proposals, Galbraith on efforts to pass — and to oppose — a $6 billion water program, Grissom on the release of a man wrongly convicted of murder and Hamilton on efforts to let the public write some legislation: The best of our best content from October 3 to 7, 2011.Full Story
After an emotional day in court, Michael Morton left prison today, almost 25 years after he was convicted of murdering his wife. His release came after prosecutors agreed his conviction should be overturned based on the results of recent DNA testing.Full Story
Aaronson on the shrinking of state government, Aguilar on the controversy over in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants, Galbraith on Rick Perry vs. the EPA, Grissom on a startling development in a 25-year-old murder case, Hamilton on Ken Starr's first year as president of Baylor, Ramsey on what inmates have to do with redistricting, Ramshaw on the state's crisis in insurance coverage, Root on Perry's presidential grind dance and Smith on obstacles to addressing childhood obesity: The best of our best content from Sept. 26-30, 2011.Full Story
Texas prison inmates can’t vote, so most counties ignore them. But they can change the value of your votes for Congress and the state Legislature.Full Story
Roddy Dean Pippin, the diabetic cowboy who has been in prison for more than eight years, will get to ride out of the big house next month after the state's highest criminal court ruled today that he has done his time.Full Story
In a startling development, Travis County authorities are investigating whether an unsolved 1988 killing of an Austin woman is related to the 1986 murder of Christine Morton, for which her husband, Michael Morton, is serving life in prison.Full Story
Travis County prosecutors on Monday provided “powerful evidence” to a Williamson County district court that could be crucial in exonerating Michael Morton of the 1986 murder of his wife.Full Story
How much Texas pays exonerated prisoners depends largely on when they were released and applied for compensation. Changes in the law over the last decade have created vastly different payouts for former prisoners, leaving some feeling doubly wronged.Full Story
In Texas, eyewitness misidentifications have accounted for 80 percent of the 44 wrongful convictions overturned through DNA evidence. A new report released Monday urges significant changes in how police lineups are conducted.Full Story
Advocates for a review of previous arson cases fear it may be inadequate if it is led by the state fire marshal, who continues to stand by the Cameron Todd Willingham investigation — even though it relied on methods now considered scientifically unsound.Full Story
The Texas Forensic Science Commission said it would not issue a finding of misconduct against the state fire marshal in the Cameron Todd Willingham arson case. But the commission agreed to implement a review of other arson cases.Full Story