- If coverage in the Express-News is indicative, a community forum on civil rights and policing in San Antonio didn't at all focus on the contract negotiations which just began between the city and the union. But that document and the state civil-service code which authorizes it govern SAPD disciplinary processes (read: what happens to cops who break the rules) to an arguably greater degree than the chief or DA. Campaign Zero has offered some thoughtful suggestions on reform provisions advocates should ask for in police contracts, many of which could apply to meet-and-confer contracts Texas.
- The screwups surrounding the case of Jerry Hartfield, a mentally ill man imprisoned in Texas for 35 years after his conviction was overturned, are as mind boggling as they are banal.
- Another suicide by an out of state motorist in a Texas county jail is being questioned by his family. This one likely won't receive the same attention as Sandra Bland. OTOH, without the uproar surrounding her case, one doubts it'd have been covered at all.
- Grits didn't realize they were still doing roadside cavity searches for drugs in Harris County in 2015. You learn something new every day. A bill passed this session and which goes into effect Sept. 1st would require a warrant for law enforcement to conduct body cavity searches. I wonder how many agencies will formally have to change their practices?
- The pun in this headline about bite mark evidence was as inevitable as it is inexcusable. See related coverage from Jordan Smith, formerly of the Austin Chronicle, and an op ed from the National Law Journal.
- Here's a reminder that Democrats sucked on criminal-justice policy in the '90s. Grits hasn't forgotten.
- Voters will decide bail reform in New Mexico.
- Here's a strident but justified call for more aggressive use of presidential pardon power.
- Read Prof. Sam Gross on "The staggering number of wrongful convictions in America."
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Bad cops, bad puns, bad contracts, bad Democrats and other happy stories to cheer up your day
Here are several items which merit readers' attention even if I don't have time to blog on the topics: