Johnathan Silver

Johnathan Silver reports on the state’s criminal justice system for The Texas Tribune. Prior to the Tribune, Johnathan was a Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Buster Haas intern and staff reporter at the Victoria Advocate. A Fort Worth native, Johnathan graduated from The University of Texas at Arlington with bachelor’s degrees in political science and criminal justice – and a graduation mug from The Shorthorn, the campus student newspaper.

Recent Contributions

After Dallas Ambush, Texas Police to Push for Open Carry Changes, Funding

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo and Austin Police Association President Kenneth Casaday speak with state Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, right, on Feb. 12, 2015, at the Texas Capitol.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo and Austin Police Association President Kenneth Casaday speak with state Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, right, on Feb. 12, 2015, at the Texas Capitol.

Texas lawmakers brushed off the wishes of many in law enforcement when they passed open handgun carry legislation in 2015. With pro-police rhetoric flowing after numerous shootings, police groups hope the law can at least be revisited.

Investigators Identify Inmate Suspected in Prison Guard's Death

Dillion Gage Compton allegedly attacked and killed Correctional Officer Mari Johnson on Saturday, July 16th, 2016, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Dillion Gage Compton allegedly attacked and killed Correctional Officer Mari Johnson on Saturday, July 16th, 2016, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Inmate Dillion Gage Compton, 21, who worked in the prison's kitchen area, attacked and killed correctional officer Mari Johnson, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice alleged in a statement Monday.

Cornyn Bill Would Make Killing Police Officer a Federal Crime

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn wraps up his keynote address to delegates at the Republican Party of Texas convention in Dallas on May 13, 2016.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn wraps up his keynote address to delegates at the Republican Party of Texas convention in Dallas on May 13, 2016.

Days after five police officers were killed by a lone gunman in downtown Dallas, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced legislation Wednesday that would make killing a police officer a federal crime.

Obama, Bush Call for Unity at Dallas Memorial

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a memorial service following the multiple police shootings in Dallas on July 12, 2016.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a memorial service following the multiple police shootings in Dallas on July 12, 2016.

President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said the best way to honor the lives of the officers is for Americans to put aside their differences and unite. 

Dallas Attack Tests City's Progress in Police Relations

Flowers sit on the dash of a Dallas Area Rapid Transit police motorcycle as it is used to block off the scene where, the night before, snipers targeted police officers, killing five, after a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in downtown.
Flowers sit on the dash of a Dallas Area Rapid Transit police motorcycle as it is used to block off the scene where, the night before, snipers targeted police officers, killing five, after a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in downtown.

A fragile peace settled over Dallas one day after a sniper caused the worst loss of police officer lives since September 11, but beneath calls for unity tension simmered.

Dallas Shootings: Sorrow, Disbelief Among State Officials

U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, is flanked by members of the Texas congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. on July 8, 2016, hours after a sniper attack in Dallas killed several police officers.
U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas, is flanked by members of the Texas congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. on July 8, 2016, hours after a sniper attack in Dallas killed several police officers.

When civilians and police officers came under fire late Thursday night in Dallas, state officials live-tweeted the latest news, offered prayers and lamented a peaceful protest warping into a shootout between snipers and law enforcement.

Wrongful Convictions Have Cost Texans More Than $93 Million

Michael Morton sits beside his mother, Patricia Morton, during an emotional press conference in October 2011 after a judge agreed to release him on personal bond after he spent nearly 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife. Recently tested DNA indicates another man committed the 1986 killing.
Michael Morton sits beside his mother, Patricia Morton, during an emotional press conference in October 2011 after a judge agreed to release him on personal bond after he spent nearly 25 years in prison for the murder of his wife. Recently tested DNA indicates another man committed the 1986 killing.

Texas has paid 101 men and women who were wrongfully sent to prison $93.6 million over the past 25 years, state data shows. The tab stands to grow as those wrongfully imprisoned individuals age and more people join the list.