Naloxone available in Texas this week
The Texas Legislature last year approved widespread access to Naloxone, a drug which helps quell heroin/opiod overdoses, and it will be available to the public for the first time this week, reported the Texas Tribune. Readers may recall that Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed related "Good Samaritan" legislation that would protect overdose witnesses and victims who request emergency medical assistance. Naloxone will save lives, but even more addicts would survive overdoses if it weren't for Abbott's veto.
Breath test analyst fired for incompetence
A breath test analyst in League City performed such shoddy work that all of the DWI convictions she worked on for numerous agencies may be called into question, reported KTRK in Houston:
Documents from an Internal Affairs investigation obtained by Eyewitness News show [Nellie] Martinez's supervisors determined her work is so bad, it was called a "ticking time bomb." The documents said the quality of her work could jeopardize nine police agencies in four different counties and that it could "jeopardize the integrity of the entire program."More than one way to skin a county judge
The reason the potential impact is so large is because several area police departments contract with League City for its breath alcohol work. They include Seabrook, Pearland, Webster, Texas City, South Houston, Galveston County Sheriff's Office, Friendswood, and of course, League City itself.
"The convictions that were gained, any type of trials that were had that had a breath test that involved one of her machines is now called into question," said [attorney Dan] Krieger.
The Galveston County District Attorney's Office confirmed to Eyewitness News that it has sent out Brady letters to attorneys in all pending DWI cases worked on by Martinez. The Harris County DA's office says it is aware of the issue and looking into it now.
One so seldom sees prosecutors go after open records violations that Smith County Judge Joel Baker's arrest barely passes the smell test. Really, he's being prosecuted because they can't force his resignation over an embarrassing sexting scandal, so his enemies are coming at him from another direction. A local Tea Party group, Grassroots America, is leading the push for his ouster.
Lies, damn lies, and ticket quotas in Arlington
Arlington police officers are either lying about the existence of traffic ticket quotas or the number of tickets they're writing, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported and opined. Either way, said the paper's editorial board, "here’s the problem: It sounds like these officers are saying they lied about the traffic stops because they felt they had to meet a quota. Isn’t that still a lie?" And once you have officers who will lie regarding criminal allegations against motorists, can the department really afford to keep them on the force?
'Texas' mandatory sentencing enhancements'
The Texas Public Policy Foundation has a new issue brief out on sentencing enhancements in Texas criminal law. Grits this morning interviewed author Derek Cohen about the report and soon will post our conversation online.
Junk science writ vs. 'shaken baby sydrome'
Texas' junk science writ, enacted in 2013 and improved in 2015, is being used to challenge "shaken baby syndrome" at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
This essay contains some interesting and little-known history regarding police uniforms.