Tribpedia: Texas Department Of Criminal Justice

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is the state agency responsible for managing state prisons and jails and the oversight of more than 150,000 offenders. The agency also supervises offenders released from prison on parole.

The board is composed of nine members who are appointed by the governor to staggered, six-year terms. The governor also designates one member as ...

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Murphy, Ramshaw and Root on Rick Perry and race, Philpott on Perry's vague economic plans, Tan and Wiseman on Barack Obama's foray into Texas to defend his jobs plan, Aguilar on Perry's proposal to send U.S. troops to Mexico, Ramshaw on efforts to leash rising health care costs, M. Smith on upcoming legal challenges to the state's school finance system, Aaronson interactively explores Medicare spending proposals, Galbraith on efforts to pass — and to oppose — a $6 billion water program, Grissom on the release of a man wrongly convicted of murder and Hamilton on efforts to let the public write some legislation: The best of our best content from October 3 to 7, 2011.

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.

Updated: An Emotional Morton Thankful His Was Not a Capital Case

After an emotional day in court, Michael Morton left prison today, almost 25 years after he was convicted of murdering his wife. His release came after prosecutors agreed his conviction should be overturned based on the results of recent DNA testing.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Aaronson on the shrinking of state government, Aguilar on the controversy over in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants, Galbraith on Rick Perry vs. the EPA, Grissom on a startling development in a 25-year-old murder case, Hamilton on Ken Starr's first year as president of Baylor, Ramsey on what inmates have to do with redistricting, Ramshaw on the state's crisis in insurance coverage, Root on Perry's presidential grind dance and Smith on obstacles to addressing childhood obesity: The best of our best content from Sept. 26-30, 2011.

Roddy Dean Pippin
Roddy Dean Pippin

Cattle Rustler Wins Release From Prison

Roddy Dean Pippin, the diabetic cowboy who has been in prison for more than eight years, will get to ride out of the big house next month after the state's highest criminal court ruled today that he has done his time.

Debra Jan Baker, Michael Morton (center), Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley
Debra Jan Baker, Michael Morton (center), Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley

DNA Test Links Morton Case to Unsolved Killing?

In a startling development, Travis County authorities are investigating whether an unsolved 1988 killing of an Austin woman is related to the 1986 murder of Christine Morton, for which her husband, Michael Morton, is serving life in prison. 

Entre Nax Karage outside his home in Dallas on September 12, 2011.
Entre Nax Karage outside his home in Dallas on September 12, 2011.

Evolving Law Results in Unequal Pay to Exonerated Prisoners

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How much Texas pays exonerated prisoners depends largely on when they were released and applied for compensation. Changes in the law over the last decade have created vastly different payouts for former prisoners, leaving some feeling doubly wronged.

Left to right: Officer Mario Martinez, Sergeant R. Richman and officer L. Lyons on duty.
Left to right: Officer Mario Martinez, Sergeant R. Richman and officer L. Lyons on duty.

Report: Police Lineup Protocol Can Be Improved

In Texas, eyewitness misidentifications have accounted for 80 percent of the 44 wrongful convictions overturned through DNA evidence.  A new report released Monday urges significant changes in how police lineups are conducted.

Death row inmate Duane Buck, Texas Department of Criminal Justice photo
Death row inmate Duane Buck, Texas Department of Criminal Justice photo

With Execution Set for Tonight, Perry Faces Further Scrutiny

Tonight, Texas is scheduled to execute its 11th death row inmate this year. As Matt Largey of KUT News reports, controversy surrounding the inmate's case could put the spotlight back on Gov. Rick Perry's death penalty record, which has received national attention in recent weeks.

Former Texas Forensic Science Commissioner, Sam Bassett - September 09, 2011
Former Texas Forensic Science Commissioner, Sam Bassett - September 09, 2011

Sam Bassett: The TT Interview

The former chairman of the Forensic Science Commission on why he believes the  governor replaced him, whether he thinks political motivations were behind it, and why it is critical that the commission finish the Willingham arson investigation.

53-year-old Acy Williams checks that he has all of his belongings shortly after being released from the Harris County Jail on Thursday, August 11, 2011. Williams, who often sleeps on the Houston streets, wandered around the blocks surrounding the jail waiting for his girlfriend to be released.
53-year-old Acy Williams checks that he has all of his belongings shortly after being released from the Harris County Jail on Thursday, August 11, 2011. Williams, who often sleeps on the Houston streets, wandered around the blocks surrounding the jail waiting for his girlfriend to be released.

Out of Jail, Into Danger: Lockups Continue Nighttime Releases

County jail inmates are often released in the dark of night with little or no money and no transportation. Despite tragic stories of death and assaults, lawmakers this year failed to approve legislation that would require releases during daylight hours. 

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Tan on coming prison school cuts and online sales taxes, Root on Rick Perry's support for tax increases when he was a lawmaker, Ramshaw and Serafini on what "Perrycare" would entail, yours truly on the differences between Perry and George W. Bush, Philpott on the passions of the Paulites, Murphy and Seger unveil the Trib's Texas Public Schools Database, Hamilton on UT's answer to calls for improvements in higher ed, Galbraith on predictions that the record heat in Texas will be a long-term problem and Aguilar on the legal shootout over gun sales in Texas: The best of our best content from Aug. 22 to 26, 2011.

Texas Forensic Science Commission Chairman John Bradley listens to other board members during a scheduled meeting on September 17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.
Texas Forensic Science Commission Chairman John Bradley listens to other board members during a scheduled meeting on September 17, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.

Despite Questions of Bias, Williamson County DA Will Stay on Morton Case

A state judge has declined to remove District Attorney John Bradley from continuing to investigate the case of Michael Morton, whose 1987 murder conviction has been called into question by new DNA evidence suggesting someone else killed his wife. 

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Aaronson analyzes TWIA claims and lawyer fees, Aguilar talks border security and voter ID with Chuy Hinojosa, Grissom on the latest inmate exonerated via DNA evidence, Hamilton interviews John Sharp on higher ed and the SEC, Murphy interactively maps the changes wrought by redistricting, Philpott on who's running Texas while Rick Perry is out campaigning for president, Ramsey on Perry's history of off-the-cuff remarks, Ramshaw on Perry's childhood years in Paint Creek, Root on Perry's extraordinary first week on the trail and Tan on even more ways Texas will change on Sept. 1: The best of our best content from Aug. 15-19, 2011.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice Central Prison Unit in Sugar Land, TX. Amid budget cuts, Texas is closing a prison unit for the first time. The historic Central Unit will close at the end of August.
Texas Department of Criminal Justice Central Prison Unit in Sugar Land, TX. Amid budget cuts, Texas is closing a prison unit for the first time. The historic Central Unit will close at the end of August.

31 Days, 31 Ways: Iconic Sugar Land Prison Closes

DAY 19 of our month-long series on the effects of new state laws and budget cuts: Sugar Land's historic, art deco-style prison is closing.