Sunday, April 12, 2015

Body cams, raise-the-age, overdose prevention, and other weekend links

Grits was ridiculously busy last week, so blogging was light. Here are several items which merit readers' attention even if they didn't make it into independent posts.
  • An editorial from the SA Express-News wondered whether data on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of the DPS border surge are "being purposely withheld because they will hurt the case for this border surge?" Grits wonders, "Surely that's a rhetorical question?" My bet: Those details will be released as soon as it's too late for them to affect the Legislature's border-related budget debates. R.G. Ratcliffe at Burka Blog has been all over this issue lately.
  • The Texas Observer had a good article on the status of legislation related to body cameras. Here's more on the subject from the Texas Tribune, the Dallas Observer, the Dallas Morning News, and the Austin Statesman
  • The editorial board at the Waco Tribune-Herald made the case for raising the age of criminal culpability from 17 to 18.
  • "The CDC estimates that 120 Americans die from drug overdoses every day," according to an NPR story on Friday. The coverage was timely with HB 225 by Guillen up for a vote on the House floor on Monday, a bill authorizing naloxone use in response to opiate overdoses and creating a defense for the person who called 911. The bill passed out of committee with no public opposition. See prior Grits coverage and the House Research Organization report (pdf, p. 21) on the bill.
  • This is a decent column in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on why ignition interlocks shouldn't be required of every driver convicted of DWI. I agree with that position, but the American Beverage Institute isn't exactly the best messenger.
  • Philip Hilder, an attorney and member of Houston's toothless Independent Police Oversight Board, has a guest column arguing that Houston PD should reveal details about its use of Stingrays and body cameras.
  • Now that Texas prison weddings have resumed, here's a story about one of the few people approved so far to officiate them.
  • There's been little detailed coverage of the recent hunger strike at a private immigration detention facility in Karnes County, but Candice Bernd at Truthout has a lengthy account.
  • Here's a link to the end-of-session deadlines for bills to pass the 84th Texas Legislature. April is the Month of Hope under the pink dome when all things are still possible. Come May, bills begin to die like infantrymen at Gettysburg.


Anonymous said...

Agreeing with Grits, perhaps Ms Longwell and the American Beverage Institute should just keep their mouths shut on the topic of ignition interlocks.

I'm not sure that all of her facts are correct; I am unhappily familiar with a lot of this stuff due to a son's serial DWI's. The suggestion of extending the time required for interlocks is a good one for serial offenders; I always tell my son I wish they could sentence him to the interlock for life.

Regarding administrative costs, Smart Start, a large interlock provider, does a lot of that. Fail to have the interlock monitored can cause your car to be unusable, and have the court notified. I am sure that isn't fool proof but it is a big help.

First time offenders probably should have one too to show them what they have to look forward to.

sunray's wench said...

Re prison weddings.

I wonder how many people from overseas will be able to marry inmates, now that the wardens have to approve the marriages, and the time frames to schedule a wedding are so tight.

At the risk of always wanting more, it would be nice if those of us married by proxy could have our marriages officiated too, so that they become legal in our home countries as well as in Texas, without having to divorce our spouses first.

Anonymous said...

Grits: We love youe blog but sometimes you slant what you cover ONLY to information that you or your employers wish to push. Raising The Age is an issue that we see you are pushing the news stories in favor of but not publishing the news stories that show the opposition. I can't name them right off hand but I have read several that lay out perfectly the opposition to that concept.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@12:43, If you've seen articles with opposing views, I'm unclear why you need me to link to them.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:43

Why would anyone oppose raising the age?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@8:51: $$$

Anonymous said...

Ignition interlocks and Smart Start is another fantasy land approach.
Having to pay for a love one's, I can only come to this conclusion. They paid a lot of our law makers in Austin big bribes, Judges got paid bribes, Parole Board members got paid bribes, and parole officers here in North Dallas Metroplex get paid big bribes. Just another scheme to fool the masses and put money in the criminals pockets running the criminal justice system.