Members of Tulia Friends of Justice, via the Texas Observer
Grits is excited to announce a guest blogger posting from the Texas Panhandle next week to provide first hand accounts from Tom Coleman's perjury trial. (Coleman is the undercover drug task force officer on whose uncorroborated word
Rev. Alan Bean of Tulia Friends of Justice has agreed to send updates from the proceedings, which begin in Lubbock
The Texas Observer once rightly declared, "few have felt the backlash in Tulia more than Alan Bean." He, his wife, and a few other Tulians banded together with family members of the wrongfully incarcerated. From the time of the trials in 1999 until the defendants' release from prison four years later, Alan and Friends of Justice agitated for their release and for reform in the criminal justice system. Alan and quite a few other Tulians came to Austin in 2001 and 2003 to lobby for successful reform legislation, and to encourage the Texas Legislature to abolish the state's drug task forces, a recommendation echoed in the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Interim Report released last month.
Last year, the drug task force that targeted the Tulia defendants was abolished as part of a $6 million settlement with Coleman's victims.
Thanks, Alan, for agreeing to help out on this. Grits is honored to have you.