Johnathan Silver — Click for higher resolution staff photos

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

Bob Daemmrich

Abbott Enters Fray Over "In God We Trust"

In a letter to Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lent his full support to the Childress Police Department, which recently came under fire for displaying the motto "In God We Trust" on its patrol vehicles.

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Death Row Inmate Claims Witnesses Coerced

Attorneys for East Texas inmate Julius Jerome Murphy, scheduled for execution in early November for killing a stranded motorist, claimed in court papers filed Friday that prosecutors threatened and coerced witnesses to unjustly convict him.

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Childress Police Department

Lawmakers Jump into Tussle Over God's Trust

A furor involving a small-town Texas police department and national secular organization has reached the state attorney general's office, and may well wind up in court after that. At issue: Does slapping "In God We Trust" stickers on police patrol cars violate the U.S. constitution?

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Victor V.

Lawmaker Mulls Hearing on Juvenile Justice

State Sen. John Whitmire might call a hearing and seek leadership changes at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department after multiple reports of youths fighting, climbing onto rooftops and running away from staff in large numbers at youth correctional facilities.

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Callie Richmond

Offenders Return to State School With Thanks

A group of youth offenders once considered the worst of the worst for crimes including murder, capital murder, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated robbery returned to Giddings State School recently not as inmates but as thankful adults.

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TDCJ

Mentally Ill Inmate's Case Back Before 5th Circuit

The 23-year saga that is the Scott Panetti death penalty case returned to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday as lawyers argued over whether the 57-year-old is competent enough to be executed, and who should pay to determine that.

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TDCJ

Panetti Lawyers Want His Competence Evaluated

Lawyers for death row inmate Scott Panetti will get a chance Wednesday to argue that their client's ongoing mental illness — and the state's failure to evaluate his mental state — should forestall his execution for two 1992 killings.

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Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Lawmakers Zero in on Jail Standards, Mental Health

To the better-known name of Sandra Bland — whose death by apparent suicide in the Waller County Jail this summer sparked national outrage — state Sen. John Whitmire on Tuesday linked three others with mental or emotional problems who have recently died in custody.

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Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Jack Stick Convicted of Drunken Driving

A Travis County jury on Monday convicted Texas Health and Human Services' general counsel Jack Stick of drunken driving, the latest chapter in year of problems for the former prosecutor and state lawmaker.

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Illustration by Emily Albracht

Scrutiny Follows Bland, Deputy Deaths

In the coming days, the deaths of Sandra Bland and Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth will continue to jolt statewide conversations about how the Texas criminal justice system deals with — or fails to deal with — mental health issues.

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