Friday, March 27, 2009

Hundreds of new crimes, enhancements proposed at Texas Lege

On the Texas District and County Attorneys Association website, we find this unofficial statistical compilation of new crimes and penalty hikes proposed at the 81st Texas Legislature:
The bill filing deadline is over and we've just about got all of the horses in the corral. A preliminary head count of the bills we are tracking yields the following unofficial information:

Total number of bills tracked: 1, 445

Number of bills in the following categories:

New misdemeanors: 195
New felonies: 71
New enhancements: 109
New civil duties: 77
Sex offenders: 70
DWI: 58
Death penalty: 40
Gang bills: 37

(Percent of these bills suggested by prosecutors: about 3%!)
More than 7,000 bills were filed overall this session. H/t Shannon Edmonds.

UPDATE: Speaking of new crimes and penalty enhancements, there are quite a few of them proposed on the agenda of the Property Crimes subcommittee of the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Monday morning, including a graffiti bill I'd written about earlier.


Anonymous said...

Honestly,do we really need to create any more crimes, or enhance the penalties on all of the present offenses? I don't think so, Tim...One can be smart on crime, and tough on crime, but still have common sense in the process.

Charlie O said...

There's a good line from the movie "Sicko" from an American living in France. The difference between France and the US is that in France the government is afraid of the people. In the US, the people are afraid of the government. This is a perfect example. The complete criminalization of nearly everything. That, and the fact that in the US, the government's agents (the police) think nothing of slaughtering this country's citizens, whereas is Europe, a cop killing a citizen wreaks havoc. Refer to recent rioting in Greece.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Now, now, 4:56 - there are only 2,324 felonies on the books in Texas (including 11 involving oysters). Surely there are dozens if not hundreds more things they haven't thought of criminalizing yet. ;)

Anonymous said...

How will the state pay for all the additional incarceration in this economy?

W W Woodward said...

Tell me how any one legislator can keep up with 7,000 filed bills and be able to cast an intelligent vote on any one of them. Ghost voting, you bet. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. You don't need to know the content of my bill just agree to vote for it and I'll vote for yours.

Tell me that's not the way it goes.

Suzette Watkins said...

Woodward - Cheers Sir! Are you involved in your local politics? IMO, that's where it starts.

Anonymous said...

I am so tired of legislators using the sex offender issue to draw attention to themselves about how tough they are on crime. We have such an overblown registry now that it is of no use in knowing who is dangerous and who is not. I wonder how many other states charge 19 - 20 year olds who have sex with a minor girlfriend with the exact same offense as a violent rapist and lock them both up for as long as 20 years in some cases? Common sense is definitely lacking in our penal code.

Anonymous said...

lets concentrate on rehabing the criminals we've got, not creating new ones

Helga Dill said...

I am soooo confused ! We are trying to keep the prison population down because we don't have enough guards or money to run the prisons and we create more felonies that put individuals behind bars ? As mentioned in one comment here , sex offenses are already being so blown out of proportion and sentences over the top, DWI sentences over the top . These people need therapy to take care of their addictions like drug offenders. Instead they languish in a prison warehouse w/o treatment , what little treatment they get in this State is ridiculous and always at the end of their long sentence.
Texas tax payers wake up! Get involved in what your money is paying for , education is more important be we are # 49 in the Country, I call that successful "dumbing down" of your children . Those are often the ones winding uo in a prison warehouse.

Helga Dill, Chair TX CURE
(Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants)

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The Future said...

I agree with the Anonymous, Charlie, and others. Common sense tells us that the Criminal System is using there power for profit. For years cops have been arresting people and courts have been locking them up and what has it accomplished. I am asking the public to stand up for more better schools, better rehab programs for those that are locked up. Just like the officer in Dallas that would not let the family of a dying lady go into the hospital to be by her side during her final minutes on earth. Cops and Judges are becoming more like the people they accused of wrong doing. I call them NERDS with power and they abuse it. Enough is enough. I pray and hope President and his administration take a look at the justice system like they are at the financial system. I promise they will fined that the criminal system is breaking the same laws. For example: Cops pulling ladies over on the road for personnel gain, Cops picking on a Man because of his car, Cops putting a person in hand cuffs and then beating them, Judges locking up a person because he or she is poor and from a area that is considered low income areas. I once heard a good cop say "If you are a cop and you are scared, this is not the job for you" Long story short, most Cops are punks with a badge and most Judges is GODs number one enemy.

The future

TxBluesMan said...


Those DWI offenders that are in prison have had at least three chances (for normal DWI). Those that are in after one drunk driving episode either seriously injured or killed someone due to their own actions.

Most are ordered into an alcohol program after their first DWI conviction - which obviously didn't work.

Prison is where they need to be to protect society at large.

Maybe we should form another group - we could call it CURED, for Citizens United for Retribution of Evil-Doers...

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Bluesy writes of DWI inmates "Prison is where they need to be to protect society at large."

Except you can't keep them there forever so it's not really a solution, especially if no treatment is provided while they're inside.

Another fallacy promoted by those determined to solve every social problem with criminal laws. If the only tool you have is a hammer ...

Anonymous said...

The only laws we need...

(1) Just one God.
(2) Put nothin' before God.
(3) Watch yer mouth.
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meetin'.
(5) Honor yer Ma & Pa.
(6) No killin'.
(7) No foolin' around with another fellow's gal.
(8) Don't take what ain't yers.
(9) No tellin' tales or gossipin'.
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the next verse in that book about rehabilitation for those who break those rules?

TxBluesMan said...

Anon 10:53,

Your proposed laws 1, 2 & 4 are unconstitutional.

Anonymous said...

with out to mention that most of this so called sex crimes are make believe crimes. cause the state goverment want ot look crimes in most cases don't need evidence, hearsay is plenty on evidence.we have lots of innocent people im the system today for crimes they did not commit.the state comes up with new laws that make no sense at all. it's all a political game, about money and power, the state is the biggist crook in my book. misleading about all the crimes they commit.they take our rights away from us,treat us like where stupid and should believe everythink they tell. which is a bunch of grap.anythink to make the taxpayer pay more.