Tribpedia: Texas Department Of Criminal Justice

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 ...

TribLive: A Conversation About Cameron Todd Willingham

Following our Tuesday night screening of Incendiary: The Willingham Case, I talked about the science of fire and death penalty politics with the filmmakers, Steve Mims and Joe Bailey Jr.; former Forensic Science Commission Chairman Sam Bassett; former Texas Gov. Mark White; and acting Corsicana City Attorney Terry Jacobson.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 6/13/11

Aaronson and Murphy visualize what happened to the nearly 5,800 bills introduced in the 82nd Lege Session, Aaronson, Hasson and Swicegood interactively recap the budget battle, Aguliar on the surge in illegal re-entry cases prosecuted by the Obama administration, Galbraith on a coal plant that wants a water deal from the LCRA, Grissom interviews a man wrongly imprisoned and nearly executed — twice, Hamilton on a controversial UT regent who wants a do-over in the debate over higher ed reform, Ramshaw on the continuing fight over pre-abortion sonograms, Root on Rick Perry's newsmaking trip to NYC and M. Smith on whether cash-strapped school districts will raise taxes: The best of our best content from June 13 to 17, 2011.

Roddy Pippin, a severely diabetic prisoner who is serving time for cattle rustling, points to court documents he has filed challenging the amount of time that prison officials say remains on his sentence.
Roddy Pippin, a severely diabetic prisoner who is serving time for cattle rustling, points to court documents he has filed challenging the amount of time that prison officials say remains on his sentence.

Counting Confusion Keeps Texas Cowboy Confined

The way 27-year-old diabetic cowboy outlaw Roddy Dean Pippin figures it, his ride out of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Carole S. Young unit should have started Thursday. Prison officials do the math differently, and they plan to keep him until 2013. So his confinement continues, and so do the bills that taxpayers foot for his extensive health care needs.

Anthony Graves: The TT Interview

The state of Texas incarcerated him for nearly two decades — and nearly executed him twice — for murders he didn't commit. Now, the state is balking at giving him the $1 million he's owed for all the years he spent wrongfully imprisoned. Despite it all, Anthony Graves remains positive.

The Texas Capitol in the twilight of the 82nd legislative session.
The Texas Capitol in the twilight of the 82nd legislative session.

20 Weeks in Texas in Which the Budget Held Sway

The 82nd Texas Legislature’s regular session ends as it started, with lawmakers arguing about a shrunken state budget and redistricting. With Republicans operating with a supermajority in the House and a commanding majority in the Senate, there was little doubt that the GOP would be able to impose its will. What was new was the power exerted by the Tea Party movement.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 5/16/11

Root and Galbraith on a Dallas billionaire's radioactive waste dump victory, Grissom on the passage of eyewitness ID reform, Hamilton on the old grudges bedeviling the debate over higher ed, Philpott on the status of congressional redistricting, Ramsey on Rick Perry's un-campaign for president, Ramshaw on why medical schools are the scorned children of the state's education budget, my session-wrap interview with three veteran Democrats, M. Smith on why Rob Eissler can't pass mandate relief for school districts and Stiles on who's giving what to which Texas candidates in 2011-12 congressional races: The best of our best content from May 16 to 20, 2011.

Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, speaks against the motion to adopt the Senate version of the state budget on May 4, 2011.
Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, speaks against the motion to adopt the Senate version of the state budget on May 4, 2011.

Eyewitness ID Reform Headed to Perry's Desk

The Senate today approved a measure that would reform the way law enforcement officers conduct identification lineups, a measure that criminal justice advocates hope will mean fewer future wrongful convictions.

Lawmakers Target Texas Prison School for Makeover

Texas could save money, and prisoners could get a better education, some lawmakers say, if inmate learning programs were provided online. But correctional education experts and teachers say lawmakers’ ideas — particularly about online programs — show a lack of understanding about prison life.

Ellis Urges Lawmakers to Act on Innocence Bills

Charles Chatman spent 27 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit. DNA testing helped clear his name and a state court released him in 2008. On Tuesday, he and other former prisoners who have been exonerated joined state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, in urging House lawmakers to act quickly to pass bills that could help put an end to wrongful convictions. 

1980 Capital Case Returns; Defense Alleges Bias

Delma Banks Jr. has been on death row for 30 years. For the second time since the 1980 murder he was convicted of, lawyers in a Bowie County courtroom will argue over whether he should be executed for the crime. And the same prosecutors who suppressed evidence and covered up their errors during Banks' original trial will again argue that he should die for the killing of a 16-year-old boy. 

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 5/2/11

Aaronson on the latest attack on Planned Parenthood, Aguilar previews the sanctuary cities debate, Grissom on a death row inmate's unsuccessful appeal, Hamilton on the UT System's faculty "productivity" data dump, Philpott on the prospect of lawsuits over education cuts, Ramsey on puppies and other distractions, Ramshaw on a tobacco fight, my interview with the presidents of UT-Austin and Texas A&M, M. Smith on a former State Board of Ed member who may have violated state ethics law, Stiles interactively displays the effects of House redistricting and Tan on the Senate budget end game: The best of our best content from May 2 to 6, 2011.

Execution Challenge Is First for Texas Appeals Office

Less than a month before his scheduled execution, Cary Kerr had no attorney. And the ones he had had up to that point, he argues, didn’t do him much good. Now, he’s asking the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his execution — scheduled for tonight — and allow him to again argue for his life. Brad Levenson, his new attorney, leads the Office of Capital Writs, created in 2009 to provide better representation for people on death row. 

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Apr. 25, 2011

Aguilar and Weber on a subdued debate over homeland security, Galbraith on rising concern about natural gas drilling, Grissom on a controversial psychologist, Hamilton on the aftermath of the Rick O'Donnell episode, Philpott on the comptroller's apology, Ramshaw with more on the statewide database of child abusers, E. Smith interviews Lance Armstrong, M. Smith on what House budget cuts would mean for school districts, M. Stiles on how redistricting would change things for each House member, Tan on the Senate's wobbly attempts to approve a budget and my interview with David Dewhurst: The best of our best content from April 25 to 29, 2011.

State Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Plano.
State Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Plano.

House Tentatively OKs New Juvenile Justice Agency

Texas youths who get crossways with the law could soon find themselves under the supervision of a new state juvenile justice agency whose main mission is to keep young offenders close to home and quickly headed in a more positive direction.

Cameron Todd Willingham: A Timeline

Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in 2004, convicted of igniting the 1991 blaze that destroyed his home and killed his three young daughters. The State Fire Marshal's office concluded the fire was arson. Since then several experts have questioned the evidence used to reach that conclusion. The Forensic Science Commission has been investigating the science used to convict Willingham for years and issued a draft report Thursday in advance of a public meeting. Click here for a timeline of the major events in the Willingham saga.

Guest Column: The Red-Headed Exception

The authorities in Hudspeth County have realized what the rest of us have known for years: Before you start investigating the funny smell emanating from his tour bus, remember that he's Willie Nelson. The usual rules don't apply.