- Eva Ruth Moravec, Houston Chronicle: "Unarmed people hurt when Texas officers shot at dogs." Includes slide show of dogs shot by cops!
- And from Mike Ward, also in the Chron: "State budget writers say four prisons may now be up for closure." (Hurray!)
- HB 1258 is a terrible bill that would stop Texas courts from providing internet access to the most public of public records in the government's possession: courthouse files. The bill was heard in committee yesterday. The real reason clerks want to deny people access to records which are public under the open-courts doctrine (which insists access must not be impeded by unreasonable financial barriers)? After you wade through all the BS being thrown up about phony baloney "risks and liabilities," the bottom line is, clerks presently charge $1 per page for copies and fear the revenue stream from subscriptions won't cover the loss.
- Here's a headline for which Grits has been waiting for years: "Lawmakers, judges square off against bail bondsmen in push to end cash bail for nonviolent offenders." Chairman John Whitmire is holding a press conference this afternoon on the bill.
- See Raise-the-Age arguments from the Justice Policy Institute and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and coverage of an advocacy day yesterday on the topic (where the missus spent her day) from the Dallas News.
- It turns out, the people most likely to discover wrongful convictions are the ones looking for them. Who'd have thought? Oh yeah, every innocence project affiliate in the country.
- In El Paso, the Public Defender caseload is rising.
- Brandon Garrett, The Baffler: "Trials and Errors: Inside the Great Forensic Science Boondoggle."
- Marshall Project: "The Seismic Change in Police Interrogations." This is huge news: The group that developed the Reid technique is no longer teaching it. (For more background on the Reid technique, see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.) The Reid technique was developed after third-degree tactics were outlawed in the wake of the Wickersham Commission in the '30s. By the 1940s, John Reid had famously developed an interrogation method deploying psychological instead of (as much) physical coercion, but attacking the same mental weak spots, and modern US interrogation techniques were born. Most other nations' police use less accusatory, more fact-gathering-based interrogation methods, which produce just as many real convictions but fewer false ones.
Thursday, March 09, 2017
Dead dogs, shot owners, greedy clerks, phony risks, and a 'seismic change in police interrogations'
Here are a few odds and ends that each merit their own blog posts, or at least they would if I weren't spending my days writing Just Liberty emails and action alerts. (E.g., go here to send your state rep an email asking them to sign on in support of Rep. Garnet Coleman's "Sandra Bland Act.") So while Grits is focused elsewhere, check out: