- Good luck to Kerry Max Cook today as his habeas hearing begins in Tyler. Michael Hall at Texas Monthly has a great writeup: "The Usual Suspect: Stunning new evidence in the case of Kerry Max Cook casts serious doubt on his 1978 murder conviction–and points emphatically at another man." See also coverage from Brandi Grissom at the Dallas News. UPDATE: Congratulations, Kerry! From Texas Monthly, "district attorney Matt Bingham agreed to not contest Cook’s writ of habeas corpus—and to join with Cook’s attorneys in recommending that his murder conviction be overturned."
- Houston Chronicle: "Woman's jail death under investigation, Harris County Sheriff says." The dead woman "arrested for allegedly stealing four bottles of baby formula, but the charges were elevated to a felony because she had two prior theft convictions." Maybe the nastiest enhancement on the books.
- Salon: "Criminal Injustice in Texas: Thousands stay jailed in one county because they can't make bail, and it's happening all over the U.S.." Harris County held up as a national exemplar of what not to do.
- The Texas Standard radio show had a feature titled "How bail bonds create two justice systems: One for the rich and one for the poor."
- John Wool, Vera Institute: "How our user-pay justice system drives mass incarceration."
- The Courthouse News Service reported on a lawsuit out of McAllen alleging that, "A Texas police dispatcher raped a woman for hours in her cell and when his bosses saw the footage they 'offered her a taco,' but refused to take her to a hospital."
- Finally, yesterday AP published this picture of TDCJ's still-flooded Terrell Unit inundated by the Brazos River in Brazoria County. Might the Lege consider closure instead of paying for repairs?
Monday, June 06, 2016
Roundup: Buena suerte a Kerry Cook, pretrial detention, user-pay justice and a flooded prison
Lots more has been going on than Grits has had bandwidth to blog about, so let me flag a few items in a roundup format which merit readers' attention:
TDCJ's Terrell Unit, photo via AP.