Saturday, June 20, 2009

Governor Perry's 2009 Criminal Justice Vetoes

Governor Perry announced this year's vetoes yesterday, although, since so much criminal justice reform legislation died in the waning days of the session thanks to partisan bickering over voter ID, not many bills that concerned this blog were even available to earn the Governor's wrath. Several of the vetoes I agreed with, while, as always, some seemed inexplicable even in the face of the Governor's written explanations.

Here are the criminal justice-related bills Governor Perry vetoed (links on the bill numbers go to Perry's veto statements):

Bad CPS bill goes down
SB 1440 by Watson/Madden is the bill discussed here and here that would have expanded CPS authority to seize kids for questioning without first notifying their parents or showing "good cause." (UPDATE: More from the Lone Star Times, which notes that "Perry had received 17,373 calls and letters against the measure and 455 supporting it.") However, those who fought the bill have some work to do in the interim to influence how similar legislation may look next session. In his veto statement, Perry concluded:
I am directing DFPS, through its parental advisory committee, to study the effect of the Gates decision on the ability of the department to appropriately enter a residence and, if necessary for the protection of the child, to transport the child for interviews in a neutral location. I am also directing DFPS, through its parental advisory committee, to develop and recommend statewide procedures to follow when seeking court orders to aid investigations, while protecting the rights of parents and families.
No tinkering with parole mechanics
SB 1206 by Hinojosa/Edwards would have authorized TDCJ to release inmates when they'd completed conditions for parole specified by the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Perry vetoed the bill because he said it usurped the authority of the BPP. However, he put the onus for getting offenders out the door more quickly back on the parole board, declaring in the veto statement:
But because I appreciate the goal of Senate Bill No. 1206 to not hold inmates longer than necessary, I am directing the Board and TDCJ to work together to ensure that offenders are not held for extended periods after successfully completing a rehabilitation program required by the Board as a condition for parole. They must set up procedures that provide for TDCJ to notify the Board of the successful completion of parole release requirements so that the Board may act to effect the release to parole.
If you're that 'vulnerable,' stay the hell off the road
SB 488 by Ellis/Harper-Brown would have creaed a new category called "vulnerable road users," basically defined as everybody not in a car, and punish drivers for getting too close to them. Perry vetoed it, rightly noting that plenty of protections are already in place. (UPDATE: See the Statesman for quotes from proponents criticizing the veto.) I agree the state has a responsibility to make cycling and pedestrians safer, but IMO that's best done through investments in infrastructure and engineering, not the endless creation of new traffic offenses.

Couples Only: Pardon authority bill needed companion resolution
SB 223 by West/Thompson would have authorized the Governor to give pardons in cases involving deferred adjudication. This was vetoed not because the Governor did not want the new power, but because a required constitutional amendment that needed to accompany the legislation did not pass because of the voter ID meltdown.

Perry: Failure to snitch on barratry shouldn't be criminal
SB 3515 by Dunnam/Carona would have created a new criminal offense specific to attorneys of failure to report barratry by other lawyers. Perry vetoed the bill because "would criminally punish a lawyer who had not committed barratry for the barratry committed by another person, and would, therefore, make a lawyer not engaged in criminal conduct subject to criminal penalties because of the criminal conduct of others."

Where's the 'swap' in land swap bill?
HB 3202 by Bonnen/Jackson transferring ownership of 332 acres owned by TDCJ to Brazoria County. In a surprise move that took the bill sponsors offguard, Perry vetoed the bill "because it does not require the payment of fair market value for the land, does not exchange land for other real property and does not involve land that a local government had donated to the state for construction of a prison. In fact, House Bill No. 3202 transfers land that has been held by the state since 1918 to a county without providing any compensation to the state for the loss of the land."

No loan assistance for prison staff
HB 518 by Kolkhorst/Van de Putte would have provided student loan assistance to correctional officers attending Sam Houston State. Perry said they shouldn't be specifically targeted and instead "the state should focus on fully funding the four main programs to make financial aid available to more students." So the state's chronically 3,000 guards short-staffed but the Lege declined to increase pay to market rates and the Governor vetoed the only substantive increase to prison staff benefits? Geez! Message to TDCJ staff: "Lump it and like it."

No leeway, however modest, on sex offender registration
HB 3148 by Smith/West would have allowed those convicted of indecency with a child for an offense committed when they were under 21 in "Romeo and Juliet" type cases to petition the court to keep them off the state sex offender registry. While acknowledging that this might happen only under "very limited circumstances," that a judge would still have to sign off, and that "other provisions of the criminal code provide some protections against very young victims being re-victimized," Perry vetoed the bill anyway, declaring, " I am not willing to take that gamble with the lives of young Texans."

UPDATE:

Early education also a veto victim
Governor Perry also vetoed the early education package discussed here on Grits among his line item budget vetoes (see the full budget proclamation [pdf]). According to the Houston Chronicle:

The governor’s veto of a $25 million pre-K expansion program startled supporters, including Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, co-author.

“I’m saddened and astonished,” he said.

Perry said $25 million appropriated for the program should be used to expand the number of students served by the existing pre-K grant program.

37 comments:

sunray's wench said...

It probably would have taken less time to type out the bills that DID make it through this session!

We have Perry's reason for vetoing the parole release bill on paper now. So when the BPP ignore what he has openly told them, Perry's words should be sent to the BPP by every inmate and inmate family member who has to spend extra days in TDCJ because the BPP can't get it's ducks in a row and follow it's own procedures. Send it every day until the inmate is released. Then send the bill for postage to Perry.

As for the TDCJ Officer's loan help, folks you need to start voting with your feet, because nothign else is being listened to.

Anonymous said...

It has been my experience that the BPP cares little for what is on paper or by whom it was authored.

The reasons Perry outlined in the veto translate into this - Keep doing business as usual Rissie.

As for the inmates and inmates families quoting the Gov. to the BPP, it will end up where everything else lands in those offices, inmate file 13.

They have no accountability to anyone and they know it.

grandparents collin county said...

Governor Perrys is in a position to protect children in reference to veto of bil clarifying cps authority:CPS should be allowed whatever means necessary in the best interest of a child If there is no danger then a parent should have no problems with cps authority. I have a 13 month old grand child located in bexar county and the cps office has failed to locate my grand child and drug test the parent and family members because of restrictions. my daughter in law claimed domestic violence and filed false reports, to avoid cps in collin county and ran to bexar county to forum shop to avoid drug test and parenting classes which leaves my grand child in danger, neglect etc. CPS needs to protect the children there are children who cant speak for themself CPS voice is all they have. My husband and I have taken care of children most of our life and we know the signs of neglect. Please, give CPS the authority they need. CPS has trained staff that will and can detect neglect, etc. If they are not allowed to get medical reports etc, the parents will run and hide and it may be to late for a child. LET CPS DO THERE JOB IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE!!! collin county grand parents

Boyness said...

Anonymous said...

As for the inmates and inmates families quoting the Gov. to the BPP, it will end up where everything else lands in those offices, inmate file 13.

They have no accountability to anyone and they know it.

6/20/2009 12:18:00 PM

--------------------------
Absolutely right. NO ACCOUNTABILITY! Texans, you have put good ole boy idiots like Rick Perry in charge who have, in turn, put there good ole boy buddies and gals in charge of this and that and the result in what you have now. Unqualified (many of them), cronies (all of them), entrusted to make life or death decisions.

The center of "cultural" Texas may be Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin but the political center is somewhere in the dust and weeds north of Abilene.

We need HELP!

sunray's wench said...

Boyness and Anon @ 12.18 ~ defeatism never gets anyone anywhere. Texas is your state, there are MANY people who do not like the way it is being run, and there is an election coming up. Instead of sitting back and saying "oh woe is me, everything is terrible, we are doomed" get out there and start working to change things.

There was a huge outpouring of anger against Perry's attempted appointment of Shanda Perkins to the BPP. Directed towards the Legislative representatives, it stopped the appointment in its tracks.

The Governor is the one appointing the BPP members and vetoing legislation to make them do their jobs, and avoiding anything that deprives them of their power. He is the one that has to go, before attempts can be made to get changes through the Legislature to either remove the absolute power that the BPP has or to restructure how it carries out its tasks.

People power does work, and it doesn't always take money to achieve it.

Anonymous said...

HB3148: When will common sense take over the sex offender issue? Obviously not while Perry is in office. The Texas registry for sex offenders has approximately 57,000 people on it now. Our law enforcement, communities, parents should not be concerned about the whereabouts of a 30 year old man who at age 19 had sex with his 15 year old girl friend who is now his wife. The 30 year old man should not be dealing with the bs residency restrictions, employer posted on the registry (if he can find employment), prohibited from attending his kid's school functions, etc. The registry is bogged down with individuals who as teenagers had consensual sex with a younger teen. TDC is also full of these YOUNG guys who didn't make it on the bs probation for sex offenders or with their bs sex offender treatment which in itself is perverted. Most of these boys need "aftercare" following the bs treatment. It is about money and money only. No more lies about public safety. These cases are prosecuted by the State oftentimes against the wishes of the so called "victim" or the so called "victim's" family. As Dan Patrick once said "the law is the law."

Perry's reasoning for vetoing HB3148 sickens me. We have guys on probation for having consensual sex with a girl that resulted in a child. These guys are BANNED from seeing their own children. This is being done across Texas. These guys aren't even allowed due process before their parental rights are stripped away. The result is more fatherless children. And Perry claims he's not willing to gamble with the lives of young Texans...What the heck does he think is happening now?

Petra said...

@the last Anonymous:

I'm not that familier with the Texas system (am from overseas), but is a complaint from a stakeholder not required to prosecute a sexual crime? Over here there would be no case if the girl and the parents of the girl do not make a complaint. If they say no crime has been committed, no crime has been committed. But I don't think our law has something comparable to your "statutory rape".

The whole sex offender registry business makes me mad as hell. Thousands of lives are being destroyed in the name of a fata morgana called public safety.

Anonymous said...

Boyness and Anon @ 12.18 ~ defeatism never gets anyone anywhere. Texas is your state, there are MANY people who do not like the way it is being run, and there is an election coming up. Instead of sitting back and saying "oh woe is me, everything is terrible, we are doomed" get out there and start working to change things.
---------------------

Yes, you are right. Change needs to happen and removing Perry is perhaps the only hope in having something resembling an equitable system of parole.

I'm not a defeatest and you better believe that I do send letters and volunteer to get more enlightened representatives elected.

I was merely trying to point out that since the BPP does not follow the statutes already passed by the legislature and codified as Texas law, I don't think it unreasonable that they would care little about a "suggestion" that came from another authority in government.

I really do want to be wrong about this. And I am not trying to dicourage anyone from trying to change it.

JohnT said...

Grits, sometime back you commented that over 7,000 bills were introduced in this session, and only 50+ made it through both houses.

What is the count now?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

JohnT, at the end of the day they sent to the Governor 867 House bills and 592 Senate bills for a total of 1,459, though many were very minor. Gov. Perry vetoed 37 of them.

Anonymous said...

@grandparents

You truly are blind aren;t you? The fact that CPS could walk into your house and take your children due to YOU homeschooling is completely out of whack! The state does not OWN our children, they are members of OUR family. For you to think so incorrectly that if you don't do anything criminal then you don;t have to worry about CPS is not only illogical, it is straight WRONG. under the now veto'd rules, they could walk in your home for ANY reason.. meaning, if little johnny got a bruise from playing football, and someone called CPS thinking abuse, your kids would be GONE.. How stupid of you to think the system is so into it for the rights of the child, and not to strictly make themselves more powerful.

As for the Romeo and Juliet Rule on the sex offender data base, it would seem that Perry has no idea about underage, or just above age relationships. This is the type of thinking that screams REPLACE ME in the next election. The Sex Offender Registry is WRONG, and we need to do something about it. a 1`9 year old found 'guilty' of sex with his 16 year old girlfriend now has the wonderful honor of 70 or so years on a registry that keeps him from military service, higher paying jobs, financial aid, and many colleges. Thanks Perry for being a retard!

Juliet's Mom said...

Perry knows what is going on with the sex offender registry. So do all of the other bubbas sitting in positions of power that will continue holding young men hostage to a backwards notion that a 15 year old girl who has sex with her 19 year old boyfriend could not have possibly known what she was doing and therefore must have been tricked, coerced or forced. These ELECTED OFFICIALS cannot possibly be so stupid.

57,000 RSO's in Texas? How many will there be in 5 years, or 10 years? I hear DPS adds 100 names to the registry per week. How many registered offenders come off the registry each week? (Excluding the one's being revoked and incarcerated on a weekley basis.)

The majority of Romeos are registered for life. HB3148 would have at least given some of those guys a chance.

Perry has to go.

Anonymous said...

@Juliet's Mom

Currently the ONLY way for someone to get off the registry is to have been tried in juvie court AND convicted of a misdemeanor. Currently, even kids that are convicted have no way to get off the registry. So to answer your question, Currently they add 100 a week, and none get off. This is OUR America now folks, Seig Hiel!

Anonymous said...

@Petra

No, Petra. It does not require an outcry to prosecute anyone for a sex crime. If both parties are known, AND it can be reasonably be proven that either has been sexually active with the other, then they can be prosecuted. After the DA gets hold of the charge, the 'victim' can be nowhere to be found, and it will still go forward. This is the same for underage prostitutes, and girls with fake ID's. If they disappear for whatever reason (runaway, leave town, etc) the charges will still be taken to the grand jury and to court. The new sex offender registry is the same as the Commision of Un-American Activities of the 50's and the Salem Witch trials. No matter what the issue, once in the nets, you are never thrown back. no matter how much of a non-crime there might be.

JohnT said...

Thanks, Grits, for the count.

I once read that between 10,000 and 20,000 bills are introduced in Congress every year.

In the early 70s there was a vintage year when only 256 of them were enacted.

Texas has a long ways to go to match that.

1459 out of 7000. Ouch.

The minor bills interest me too. If Texas is at all like Calif, weren't most of them tweaks asked for by the bureaucracy?

Anonymous said...

Man, Boyness really does hate rednecks. Way to be tolerant! I thought with Brokeback Mountain and Gomer Pyle, it was time for gays and rednecks to let the healing begin, but I guess I was wrong.

Anonymous said...

The sex offender thing is a tough one. A lot of men see a young women who is built and they get sprung. However, if you're afraid of jail, you keep your dick in your pants.

Is the punishment too tough? I don't know... Hard to quantify how much harm a 15 year old girl gets when some college freshman weasels his way into her panties... we'd have to do a study.

Juliet's Mom said...

Anonymous who said: "Hard to quantify how much harm a 15 year old girl gets when some college freshman weasels his way into her panties... we'd have to do a study."

I'd be willing to bet you are a man, possibly you have a daughter, sister, or niece that you see as an innocent virgin maiden who at age 15 couldn't possibly have any sexual desires, or the brains to protect herself from the big bad wolves (boys), lurking at her door. Seriously man, I've raised girls, they're smarter than this.

I agree that a study should be done. For the past year I have really dug into these cases. Reading the probable cause in file after file indicates there is no "weaseling" necessary to get into these girls panties. (an archaic notion by the way) As far as harm, it is done to the boy who will be an RSO for the rest of his life. You might be surprised who pursues who in many of these cases.

Talk to some women. You might learn that most of us liked older guys when we were teens. And, we too lied about our ages. Traumatizing? Ha ha. It may be socially unacceptable to some, but females enjoy sex too. Some females start earlier than others. That's how human development works. I think we can all agree teenagers shouldn't be having sex, but they are. And, they are doing it without force, duress, coercion etc.

A study...excellent idea.

elvez1975 said...

Perry also vetoed the Legislature attempt to correct the misinterpretation of the State's expunction law by the TX Supreme Court, HB 3481. This measure passed unanimously and its sponsor was a Republican. It would have allowed innocent people to promptly erase their arrest records so they can get on with their lives.

Perry's justification seems to be that because prosecutors can oppose the expunction of records where they can show reasonable cause and because these proceedings are public, that people who have been arrested (but not indicted) can get access to witness information through this process. Has no one in Perry's legal department heard of the laws that currently exist punishing threatening witnesses or trying to intimidate them? I've never heard of anyone getting this info from the expunction process and then using it to commit crimes. Has anyone else? Is there just this rash of crimes going on of this nature? Or, as I suspect, is this just a purely hypothetical situation crafted by folks like John Bradley to make sure that folks whose cases have either been dismissed, no billed, or have been found not guilty get screwed just a little bit more?

Anonymous said...

Elvez,

Sure Perry and his people have heard about those laws, and a ton of others that protect witness ID. That isn;t the real answer to the question though. The real answer is, if Perry and his group cannot keep people locked away on their prisons, or part of his collection of probationer's/Parolee's then how in the world will he ever justify the continued expansion of laws against the rights of the people? If his lock 'em up attitude is allowed to slip, then he will have fewer people in the care of TDC, thus less cronies will be employed.

Petra said...

The notion that "teenagers shouldn't be having sex" is pretty archaic to me as well, really. :P Not to mention extremely unrealistic. As long as both parties are in it by their own free will, I don't care who has sex with whom, really. Just hope they do it safely. :P

I did hear a story one time from a mom whose 18yo son had become an RSO after being set up by the police in a chat room (an officer pretending to be a 16yo girl or something). Utterly ridiculous.

Boyness said...

Anonymous said...

Man, Boyness really does hate rednecks. Way to be tolerant! I thought with Brokeback Mountain and Gomer Pyle, it was time for gays and rednecks to let the healing begin, but I guess I was wrong.

6/21/2009 11:50:00 PM
----------------------

LOL - I am tolerant and just because I loathe the idiots in our Government and Justice System does not mean I hate rednecks.

Anonymous said...

When the TDCJ correctional employees find their way out of the desert Governor Perry, Representative Debbie Riddle and Senator Tommy Williams will wish they never messed with this group. In other states such as California the correctional employees (CCPOA) run the legislature.

HB 518 was the only benefit increase after a massive attack on the employee's retirement and benefits by Senator Duncan and Representative Zerwas. Their lucky they didn't make the correctional office's blog page.(See www.tdcjunion.com)

Anonymous said...

A perfect example of Perry's short sightedness is evident. Example, my son was convicted as a sex offender at the ripe old age of 17. He was actually 16 when involved with the girl of 14. The relationship was consensual and had one of the parents consent. The other parent is the one that pressed charges. Needless to say, my son has served the full sentence of 12 years and is now serving a 2nd sentence of 6 years for protecting himself after the gangs tried to kill him and the system wouldn't protect him.

Let's see. At 17, his life long goal was to serve in the Marines, was working on his college hours needed to join and holding down a part time job.

The hope of this bill passing was one small victory in addressing the real issue. The law is flawed in the first place by not distinguishing the degree of the sex offense. This zero tolerance for sex offenses has it's merits, but to hold a young man accountable to the same is simply makes no sense. Let's ruin his life and probably perpetuate the negative outcome of one more youth.

I don't know how we Texan's ever allowed this law to pass.

Anonymous said...

A perfect example of Perry's short sightedness is evident. Example, my son was convicted as a sex offender at the ripe old age of 17. He was actually 16 when involved with the girl of 14. The relationship was consensual and had one of the parents consent. The other parent is the one that pressed charges. Needless to say, my son has served the full sentence of 12 years and is now serving a 2nd sentence of 6 years for protecting himself after the gangs tried to kill him and the system wouldn't protect him.

Let's see. At 17, his life long goal was to serve in the Marines, was working on his college hours needed to join and holding down a part time job.

The hope of this bill passing was one small victory in addressing the real issue. The law is flawed in the first place by not distinguishing the degree of the sex offense. This zero tolerance for sex offenses has it's merits, but to hold a young man accountable to the same is simply makes no sense. Let's ruin his life and probably perpetuate the negative outcome of one more youth.

I don't know how we Texan's ever allowed this law to pass.

Boyness said...

Anonymous said...

Boyness and Anon @ 12.18 ~ defeatism never gets anyone anywhere. Texas is your state, there are MANY people who do not like the way it is being run, and there is an election coming up. Instead of sitting back and saying "oh woe is me, everything is terrible, we are doomed" get out there and start working to change things.
-----------------------

You know what happens when you assume? That's what you have done here. I am hardly sitting back. I vote, I encourage others to vote. I am an activist through writing and spreading the word.

I'm not sure what I said that you took out of context but rest assured I am under NO ILLUSIONS about Rick Perry or the BPP. They wont listen because they don't have to.

Anonymous said...

Just a warning. Grits will delete any comments that don't toe his line (far left). And, he will shut the blog down if enough people have a diffenent opinion (diversity is their mantra as long as it isn't different from the ACLU).

All of my blogs that weren't liberal were removed. Their version of diversity. Look what he did last week to the TYC blog. Gone.

Anonymous said...

04:16:

That is an interesting story. I am skeptical though, because it is my understanding that any sexual relation by those within two years is legal. Can someone enlighten me on this? Could this story be true?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 4:16

Within 3 years ages 14 and up is legal.

I don't know if the story you are referring to is true or not, but, after what I've seen, I'd believe it.

Overzealous prosecutor and court appointed attorney, together convince the kid and family the act was illegal and a jury trial could result in 20+ years of prison...

Where do I sign?

sunray's wench said...

Boyness ~ really it was the words "we need help!" at the end of your post, coupled with Anon's quote. Texans didnt have any help getting Perry et al in thier jobs in the first place. What kind of help do you want to get him out?

If I over-eagerly included you in the apathetic middle ground then I apologise.

Anonymous said...

A 14 yr old cannot consent to sex with anyone, ever. Sexual contact with a 14 and under child is a felony under Texas law.
15 & 16 also cannot consent to sex, but if the partner is 3 yrs or less older, that small age difference is an affirmative defense to the crime. (i.e. they could still be charged, but a defense lawyer could quickly get it dismissed.)
At 17 Texas teens can consent to sex with whomever they please.

Unless they live in their parents house, and there are different rules there!

Anonymous said...

"15 & 16 also cannot consent to sex, but if the partner is 3 yrs or less older, that small age difference is an affirmative defense to the crime. (i.e. they could still be charged, but a defense lawyer could quickly get it dismissed.)
At 17 Texas teens can consent to sex with whomever they please. "

Sorry, but you are incorrect. anyone over the age of 18 in Texas going after anyone below the age of 18 will be charged with sexual assault, or aggravated sexual assault. There is a method for affirmative finding, which allows a judge to make an affirmative finding of age difference of less than 3 years, this does not stop the sexual assault charge, or aggravated sexual assault charge from being taken to court. What the affirmative finding allows is for a young person to only spend HALF his life on the registry, instead of all of it. Currently, unless the trial court is juvie, all sexual assaults (which are considered violent offenses) are life time registration. Unless you are caught up in this stupid shit, you really don't know what you are talking about...

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...

Just a warning. Grits will delete any comments that don't toe his line (far left). And, he will shut the blog down if enough people have a diffenent opinion (diversity is their mantra as long as it isn't different from the ACLU).

All of my blogs that weren't liberal were removed. Their version of diversity. Look what he did last week to the TYC blog. Gone.

6/22/2009 09:01:00 PM"

Funny, but I read above the blog saying "GRITS for Breakfast"... not Anonymous for .. So in saying that he deleted your right wing rant is a strike against because it doesn't allow for YOUR view is stretching it a bit. Been reading Grits for a while now, and Soctt allows many varied viewpoints both left and right. Regarding YOUR posts, either you were slanderous, or violated something he said not to post. As far as the TYC postings, he explained himself quite well when stating that the TYC posts were becoming libelous and personal attacks against other TYC personnel were becoming more frequent.

In closing, get over yourself. The world doesn't revolve around you.

elvez1975 said...

That's an incorrect statement of the law Anon @ 11:28.

Texas Penal Code 22.011(e) It is an affirmative defense top rosecution under Subsection (a)(2) that:
(1) the actor was not more than three years older than the victim and at the time of the offense:
(A) was not required under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, to register for life as a sex offender; or
(B) was not a person who under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, had a reportable conviction or adjudication for an offense under this section; and
(2) the victim:
(A) was a child of 14 years of age or older; and
(B) was not a person whom the actor was prohibited from marrying or purporting to marry or with whom the actor was prohibited from living under the appearance of being married under Section 25.01.

So long as the "victim" is over 14 and the suspect is no more than 3 years older than the victim at the time of the offense (and neither any of the registration requirements nor 25.01 applies), then no crime has been committed.

Anonymous said...

elevez, I understand what the law 'says' however it is prosecuted in a totally different way. You don;t get around to Dallas County very often, huh? I am on the registry for exactly the sort of 'crime' that this is supposed to disallow. You would be very surprised how some judges see the 'law'.

So my next question is where the heck were you in 1998 when I was getting ass reamed by the court and being put on the registry? :S

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous @ 6/23/2009 04:40:00 PM & elvez1975: I believe you both are right. I'm not a lawyer, just a mom, but the affirmative finding is no more than the 3 years age difference with the youngest person not being any younger than 14. And, I have seen several on the registry where there was less than a 3 year age difference and the affirmative finding wasn't applied.

Would it be out of the question to think that Dallas County (and a few other counties) may have WRONGFULLY prosecuted some of these Romeos disregarding the affirmative finding allowed by the law? Could it be possible? I've seen some guys get stuck with court appointed lawyers who typically handled family law and not criminal law.

elvez1975 said...

Anon 4:40 - It sounds as if you may have been technically not guilty under 22.011(e) in 1998. I would encourage you to speak to an attorney that handles pardons and writs of habeas corpus to see if you can can get a shot of getting that conviction off of your record (which is possible if you qualified for the affirmative defense under subsection(e) as it existed at the time the alleged offense occurred.

(Keep in mind that it is less than three whole years, not three years plus one day or more. See Brown v. State, 990 SW2d 759 (Austin 1999))