Tribpedia: Criminal Justice

Despite state budget woes, Republican lawmaker wants funds for death penalty attorneys

State Rep. James White, R-Hillister, speaks on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives on April 29, 2015.
State Rep. James White, R-Hillister, speaks on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives on April 29, 2015.

Rep. James White's House Bill 1676 would create a state-funded office to represent death-sentenced inmates who can’t afford their own lawyer in their direct appeals to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals — but its price tag in a tight budget year may put the legislation in jeopardy.

Mitzie and Danny Wood, parents of Jeff Wood, at a rally in July 2016 at the Governor's mansion. Their son, Jeff, was sent to death row under the controversial law of parties statute.
Mitzie and Danny Wood, parents of Jeff Wood, at a rally in July 2016 at the Governor's mansion. Their son, Jeff, was sent to death row under the controversial law of parties statute.

Texas lawmakers aim to eliminate death penalty for convicts who didn't kill

At least two Texas Democrats and one Republican are pushing to reform the death penalty under the law of parties, which holds those involved in a murder equally responsible, even if they weren't directly involved in the actual killing.

Flanked by civic and religious leaders, Dallas Police Chief David Brown speaks to a crowd attending the vigil for five slain police officers, victims of a sniper attack, at Dallas’ Thanksgiving Square on July 8, 2016.
Flanked by civic and religious leaders, Dallas Police Chief David Brown speaks to a crowd attending the vigil for five slain police officers, victims of a sniper attack, at Dallas’ Thanksgiving Square on July 8, 2016.

Dallas shooting changed the conversation about police in Texas

The July ambush of police officers in downtown Dallas was one of the highest-profile examples of the intense community-law enforcement divide in 2016.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice recently launched a 6-month program that helps women at the Marlin Transfer Facility with treatment and life skills training right before they go back into society. During a recent class, Irvanette Lofton teaches inmates about budgeting and finding a job.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice recently launched a 6-month program that helps women at the Marlin Transfer Facility with treatment and life skills training right before they go back into society. During a recent class, Irvanette Lofton teaches inmates about budgeting and finding a job.

New program moves women from prison to life

Before they can earn their freedom, about 40 Texas prisoners will be the first to complete a six-month program that focuses on decision-making and life skills.