Thursday, January 03, 2008

Roundup: There Will Be Blood

I thought I'd point out several items that will interest many Grits readers:

There Will Be Blood
At I Was The State, Robert Guest updates us on the Fort Worth PD's new policy to force drivers suspected of DWI to give a blood sample.

Crime and Insanity
At Prevention Not Punishment, Kristin Houle points to recent news articles about Austin PD's Crisis Intervention Unit for the mentally ill and a new mental health court in El Paso. (See a short slide show from the Austin Statesman, "On the Beat" with Austin's Crisis Intervention team.)

Army Rethinks Contract With Mercenary Firm
The Army has decided to revisit a massive contract recently awarded to Dyncorp, reports the National Examiner. That should give them something to talk about on the investor conference call later this month. I've begun paying attention to the company after they started aggressively lobbying for privatizing Border Patrol services and President Bush began pushing to expand their drug interdiction contracts to include Mexico.

Failure to Testify: A Better Instruction
At the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer, Jamie Spencer thinks judges need to change the instruction they use when a defendant chooses not to testify.

Dallas Exonerations Pile Up
From the Dallas News, see this synopsis of the 14 Dallas cases where defendants have been exonerated by DNA evidence since 2001. And that doesn't include, for example, innocent defendants released as a result of the "Sheetrock" fake drug scandal.

Grey Lady Explores Mexican Prisons and Snitching
Finally, the New York Times had a couple of unrelated stories worth mentioning recently: First, a piece on New Years Eve about female prisoners in Mexico whose children live with them, incarcerated, for the first six years of their life. Meanwhile on Dec. 30 the Grey Lady published a story exploring the reasons why residents of a Camden, NJ neighborhood refused to cooperate with police to solve violent crimes, including this observation:
The neighborhood’s grim economic and social realities, which have convinced any number of young people here that drug dealing is the best job available, leaves many law-abiding residents with conflicting loyalties.

There are so many people in the neighborhood with friends or relatives in the drug business that to help police arrest a dealer may jeopardize a family’s financial security.

It adds up, the police say, to an environment where they encounter people who, however much they despise the gangs, are more comfortable coexisting with the Bloods, Crips or Latin Kings than assisting the police.
Uncovering Mexican Graffiti Dreams
Jeremy Schwartz brings another excellent installment of Mexican graffiti photos. "Mas," cried his readers, "Queremos Mas!"

1 comment:

Robert Guest said...

Thanks for the link. Can you imagine if every DA had a program like the Dallas integrity unity.

I shudder to think how many innocent men and women are behind bars.

I hope someday the legislature will recognize the need to create such offices statewide. While I'm anti tax and spend, the State puts these people behind bars, they should also pay to exonerate the innocent.

RG