Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tulia revisited

Alan Bean from Tulia Friends of Justice let me know that the Amarillo Globe-News revisited the Tulia drug sting scandal (reg. required) in yesterday's paper, walking through the current status of the controversy. As the paper points out, 2004 was a big year in the Tulia case. The article discusses the $6 million settlement, Governor Perry's refusal to give the Panhandle more grant money this year, and the disbarrment proceedings brought by the state bar against ex-Swisher County District Attorney Terry McEachern. Another as-yet-unwritten chapter of the story, the Globe-News pointed out, will finally play out in January with the perjury trial of defrocked undercover cop Tom Coleman in Lubbock.

To read the Globe-News article, you'd think Coleman's trial was the end of the story, but not quite.

Because of the Tulia case and many other scandals involving Byrne grant funded drug task forces in Texas, the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee in the Texas House of Representatives recently recommended abolishing the entire drug task force system in an interim committee report. Now that would be a fitting end to an epic story.