LAW & ORDER

Austin Scrambles with Fallout of Closed DNA Lab

More than a month after the Austin Police Department was forced to abruptly shut down its DNA testing lab, it remains unclear whether any criminal convictions will be thrown out because of improper testing. In the meantime, the city has made interim lab arrangements and is trying to cut down on a backlog of pending cases.

The granite memorial on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin in memory of the victims of Charles Whitman’s murderous on-campus shooting spree. The 50th anniversary of the shooting is Aug. 1, 2016.
The granite memorial on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin in memory of the victims of Charles Whitman’s murderous on-campus shooting spree. The 50th anniversary of the shooting is Aug. 1, 2016.

At UT, Debut of Texas Gun Law Intersects with Tower Shooting Anniversary

Aug. 1 is an important day on the University of Texas at Austin campus for two reasons: It’s the first day people will be allowed to carry guns into Texas university buildings, and it’s the 50th anniversary of the UT Tower shooting.

At UT, Debut of Texas Gun Law Intersects with Tower Shooting Anniversary

The granite memorial on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin in memory of the victims of Charles Whitman’s murderous on-campus shooting spree. The 50th anniversary of the shooting is Aug. 1, 2016.
The granite memorial on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin in memory of the victims of Charles Whitman’s murderous on-campus shooting spree. The 50th anniversary of the shooting is Aug. 1, 2016.

Aug. 1 is an important day on the University of Texas at Austin campus for two reasons: It’s the first day people will be allowed to carry guns into Texas university buildings, and it’s the 50th anniversary of the UT Tower shooting.

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Visualization: Executions on Rick Perry's Watch

Latino Voters in Texas Sue to Bolster Influence on Electing Judges

Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals justices listen to Chief Justice Nathan Hecht's State of the Judiciary speech to legislators on Feb. 18, 2015.
Texas Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals justices listen to Chief Justice Nathan Hecht's State of the Judiciary speech to legislators on Feb. 18, 2015.

Seeking to bolster their chronically sparse representation on the state's highest courts, seven Latino voters are suing Texas to challenge the state's longtime method of electing judges statewide.

Gun Violence and Mental Health, 50 Years After UT Tower Sniper Attack

University of Texas at Austin tower, June 22, 2016.
University of Texas at Austin tower, June 22, 2016.

After shootings like the one in Dallas this month, or the sniper attack 50 years ago at the University of Texas at Austin, people often wonder if there’s a link between gun violence and mental illness. The link might not be what you thought.

Reaction Mixed to Abbott's Proposal to Protect Cops With Hate Crimes Law (Audio)

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Gov. Greg Abbott at a press conference on the Dallas shootings on July 8, 2016.
Gov. Greg Abbott at a press conference on the Dallas shootings on July 8, 2016.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday he wants to classify attacks on police as hate crimes. The idea has the backing of law enforcement groups, but it’s raised some concerns among advocates for hate crimes legislation.

 

The Armed Civilian Who Helped Stop UT’s Tower Sniper 50 Years Ago

Allen Crum at a press conference on Aug. 2, 1966. Crum, an employee at an off-campus bookstore, joined police at the top of the University of Texas Tower to stop sniper Charles Whitman.
Allen Crum at a press conference on Aug. 2, 1966. Crum, an employee at an off-campus bookstore, joined police at the top of the University of Texas Tower to stop sniper Charles Whitman.

When Charles Whitman went to the top of the University of Texas Tower and started shooting on Aug. 1, 1966, dozens of people grabbed their rifles and tried to stop him. But only Allen Crum made it to the top of the tower with police that day.

Texas Cemetery Scraps "Whites Only" Policy

The San Domingo Cemetery in Normanna, Texas. Donna Barrera claims she was told that  her deceased husband Pedro could not be buried in the cemetery because of his Hispanic ethnicity.
The San Domingo Cemetery in Normanna, Texas. Donna Barrera claims she was told that her deceased husband Pedro could not be buried in the cemetery because of his Hispanic ethnicity.

After drawing ire for its alleged “whites only” policy, a Texas cemetery has admitted its refusal to bury Latino residents is discriminatory and violates federal and state law.

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.