Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Hearne task force featured in Court TV's upcoming 'Freedom Files'

The ACLU's litigation against a now-defunct drug task force in Hearne, Texas will be featured in a July 15 episode of Court TV's The ACLU Freedom Files. If you're on a computer with speakers, a preview is here. (Long-time readers will recall Grits at one point was quoted by the defendants, i.e., lawyers representing the drug task force in that case, in one of their briefs, but the federal judge ruled with ACLU on all those points.) The case was ultimately settled out of court.

Naturally for the necessary disclaimer, I work on drug war issues for ACLU of Texas.
Mi jefe grande, Will Harrell, ACLU of Texas Executive Director, is quoted on the trailer, and I understand Graham Boyd, whose ACLU Drug Law Reform Project based in Santa Cruz, CA litigated the Hearne case, was also interviewed. I've seen Boyd speak compellingly about that case, in particular the plight of the snitch, Derrick Megress, who did bad things by falsely accusing innocent people but who Graham also really had a lot of sympathy for - Megress himself faced jail time, was mentally and educationally challenged, addicted, and really didn't have a choice or a chance. He was just another piece of meat ground up into the system. (See a 20-minute documentary webcast on the Hearne episode here.)

Watch the July 15 episode on Court TV. I'll post a reminder closer to it and a link to the webcast when it's up. Thanks to Anjuli for mentioning it.

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