Saturday, January 08, 2005

Saturday Morning Tidbits

As his perjury trial approaches, Tom Coleman showed up in court for the first time Friday to watch his lawyers try to have the special prosecutor in the case removed. His attorney previewed some of his arguments blaming task force supervisors. (Ah, the finger pointing has already started; this could be fun!) Meanwhile, folks in Tulia just want the case to go away, reports one TV station. Rev. Alan Bean of Tulia Friends of Justice will be guest blogging for Grits from Coleman's trial.

The Austin Statesman has an article about the Re-Entry Roundtable's proposals to help ex-prisoners succeed on their own and avoid recidivism.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued an important opinion clarifying that doctors are not required to report drug use by patients to the authorities.

Dr. Park Dietz, the "expert" who falsely testified in Andrea Yates murder trial that she'd copied the crime from a Law and Order episode, now says Harris County prosecutors fed him the false information.

An audit says nobody really knows how Texas homeland security money is being spent. UPDATE: Sarah has more.

And outside of Texas:

Doug Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy left town but can't stop blogging. He's analyzed the non-torture-related Q&A from the Gonzales hearings. He brings us this post with links to sentencing guideline resources from Minnesota and Indiana. And he offered a fine post on the high costs of capital sentencing, costs borne in Texas largely by Harris County taxpayers, it seems. Finally, he quotes a great newspaper editorial in this post arguing that "Not every tragedy can be prevented by legislation."

And since I haven't relayed a story about problems at drug task forces in a few days, a Georgia sheriff fired 27 employees upoin taking office, and has refused to swear in officers belonging to their drug task force , citing "possible administrative problems and the need for an audit." The sheriff posted snipers on his office rooftop after the firings, fearing retaliation from the former officers.

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