Courts

iStockphoto

Odor in the Court

Even if 84 percent of Americans believe judges should not hear cases from major campaign contributors, the big Texas law firms that have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to them over the last ten years see nothing wrong with business as usual.

Full Story 
Jacob Villanueva

On the Records: Donations App Updated

We've added a few new features to our campaign donations app, including the ability to filter the search results by the donation amount, year and donor type. 

Full Story 

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

The death penalty and DNA testing in a 16-year-old triple murder in the Texas Panhandle. The second debate between the three Republican candidates for governor. Charter schools are having a hard time hanging on to the employees that matter the most: Teachers. The possibilities and perils of a switch to electronic medical records. A rundown of top races. Who's giving to candidates, and how much? Social networks and politicians. Ballots: The slow reveal. And a new and highly requested feature makes its debut. The best of our best from January 23 to 29, 2010.

Full Story 
Brandi Grissom, Caleb Bryant Miller, Jacob Villanueva

Case Open: The Investigation

It took a crew of eight Northwestern University students to bring national attention to questions about Hank Skinner's death sentence. But his legal pleas for more DNA testing of crime scene evidence — and his lawsuit against the Gray County district attorney — have gone nowhere. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes, he'll be executed on Feburary 24.

Full Story 
Caleb Bryant MIller

Case Open

Hank Skinner is set to be executed for a 1993 murder he's always maintained he didn't commit. He wants the state to test whether his DNA matches evidence found at the scene, but prosecutors say the time to contest his conviction has come and gone. He has less than a month to change their minds.

Full Story 

Guest Column: The 2010 Agenda: Open Government

Compared with other states, Texas alternates between merely OK and downright bad in rankings of how transparently government bodies conduct open meetings and respond to requests for public information. But we can fix that.

Full Story 

On the Records: Per-Capita Money Maps

The governor's race candidates fill their campaign coffers disproportionately from some rural areas, according to a per-capita calculation. Each Dallas resident gave $1 to the race in 2009, for example, while those in Blanco donated $57.

Full Story 

TribBlog: Abbott launches trafficking task force

Twenty percent of the nation's 17,000 human trafficking victims each year come through Texas, and Attorney General Greg Abbott said today the state should take the lead in collaboration among agencies to fight the scourge of modern-day slavery.

Full Story 
Jacob Villanueva

Abuse of Power

State employees who commit heinous acts against Texas' most profoundly disabled citizens rarely get charged with crimes, let alone go to jail. A Texas Tribune review of a decade’s worth of abuse and neglect firings at state institutions found that just 16 percent of the most violent or negligent employees were ever charged with crimes.

Full Story 
Matt Stiles

Mapping the Money Race

To better understand the geography of the money race, we mapped the candidates' contributions by city, using graduated symbols to highlight their most lucrative areas. The bubbles in the maps get larger based on the percentage of a candidates' total take. 

Full Story 
Matt Otero/pool

Openly Hostile

Kay Bailey Hutchison says Texas government should be more transparent. Rick Perry says it already is. Let the sniping begin.

Full Story 
Matt Stiles

Data App: Governor's Race Cash

Search more than $35 million in campaign donations and loans collected by the top candidates in the governor's race. You can also explore how they spent the money.

Full Story 
Jacob Villanueva

TribBlog: Hi(gh) Again

A recent juvenile justice report finds drug-addicted TYC inmates who didn't participate in the agency's drug treatment program were less likely to reoffend than those who did. 

Full Story 
Illustration by Courtesy of the Cole family

TribBlog: Perry Indicates He'll Pardon Timothy Cole

Gov. Rick Perry appears willing to sign a posthumous pardon for the exonerated Timothy Cole after Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today issued an opinion that said the governor could grant one.

Full Story