Monday, June 11, 2007

Mistakes Were Made

Several stories about egregious errors and outright corruption among law enforcement drew my attention today:

Subjective Science Overturned At 11th Hour
Austin babysitter Cathy Lynn Henderson, who was scheduled to be executed later this month for the death of an infant in her care, won a reprieve today on a 5-3 decision from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals after the medical examiner in the case recanted his trial testimony declaring, "Had the new scientific information been available to me in 1995, I would not have been able to testify the way I did." Uh ... whoops. A new trial has been ordered.

Some Ballsy Identity Thieves
Thieves stole the personal identity information for every peace officer in Texas, about 97,000 officers in all. The information was on a laptop taken from a Houston software company that does contract work with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education, the state peace officer licensing agency. The agency is asking all officers to monitor their credit reports to prevent possible fraud.

Light sentence for guard who aided escapee
A prison guard at a private correctional facility in Dickens County was sentenced to probation last month for smuggling contraband to inmates after he allegedly helping an inmate from Idaho escape. After his recapture, the escapee later committed suicide, triggering the investigaiton that uncovered the contraband smuggling.

Corruption Contributes to Border Insecurity
Three Texas National Guardsman operating as part of Governor Perry's border security operations have been charged with smuggling two dozen illegal immigrants into the country. The Laredo Times asked last fall, "How do you secure the homeland if some of those guarding the gates are dishonest?" How indeed?

Oh ... THAT Jane Smith!
A McKinney woman won an apology and a cash settlement after she was arrested and lost her job because an undercover officer wrongly identified her as a participant in a drug ring. The real suspect had a similar name.

1 comment:

TJDO said...

Re: Guard gets off light

The question here is, why was the GEO Group housing an out-of-state inmate (Scot Noble Payne ) with a sex offense? The last I heard, the Texas Jail Commission, who have oversight authority over private prisons housing other states' inmates, probitied this. They also prohibit out-of-state inmates with institutional escape histories.

While it was the rule and probably still is, it's not something the Jail Commission can faithfully monitor given the few employess they have. But since the inmate fills a bed, the privates get away with it until something like this happens. Then, nothing really happens to them when they're caught, either.