Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bilking Crimestoppers, the Invisible Informant, Constables Gone Wild, and Book 'em Horns

A few disparate items that deserve Grits readers attention:

'Forgiving My Daughter's Killer'
From the Washington Post, see "Forgiving My Daughter's Killer," which offers praise for a victim-offender mediation program at TDCJ based on restorative justice principles.

Dallas: Budget shortfall = Fewer cops
Dallas PD may shrink its police force through attrition to avoid cutting officer pay during a time of budget crisis. I still believe smarter policies can increase police coverage without adding more officers to the force, but it would require more political courage than Dallas city leaders have demonstrated in the past.

Bilking Crimestoppers
In Dallas, the head of the CrimeStoppers program was allegedly engaged in an elaborate fraud scheme in which she would feed an accomplice information allowing them to collect (and presumably split) reward money to which they weren't entitled. I wonder how often (and how well) these funds are audited? It seems like, with payouts going to anonymous tipsters, there is an inherent risk of fraud from several potential angles.

The Invisible Informant
Following his high-profile extradition, Osiel Cardenas has gone from Gulf Cartel drug kingpin to the Invisible Man, and there are no records in the courts or the federal prison system saying where he is or what happened to him. Said one observer, "He has clearly become a useful informant and is being treated as such." Meanwhile, 2,200 people were recently arrested, including more than 400 last week, in a crackdown on cartel distribution networks. I wonder a) if the two stories are connected and b) whether even 2,200 arrests will make a dent in US drug distribution? UPDATE: A small-town South Texas police chief was among those arrested in the sweep.

Constables Gone Wild
A constable in San Angelo was indicted for writing a traffic ticket under false pretenses. In Dallas, a deputy constable accused of sexual assault is out on bond. A constable in Midland is under fire because two deputy constables weren't licensed earlier this year and all the cases they'd worked on (mostly traffic tickets) had to be dismissed.

Minor drug cases don't trigger deportation
The US Supreme Court ruled in a Texas case that minor drug violations don't automatically trigger deportation for immigrants.

Book 'Em Horns
UT football legend and Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young was charged with a Class C misdemeanor assault for an altercation at a Dallas strip club with a man who taunted him with an upside-down Hook 'em Horns sign. I suggest Young offer the same defense as the great Billy Joe Shaver when he was put on trial earlier this year for shooting a man in the face during a fight outside a bar. Asked by the prosecuting attorney why he didn't leave upon realizing the argument was escalating, Shaver replied, "Ma'am, I'm from Texas. If I were chickenshit, I would have left, but I'm not." The jury acquitted .


Anonymous said...

As a Crimestoppers board member in another part of the state, it's discouraging to hear that someone allegedly committed this major ethical and potentially criminal violation. Nonprofits, just like the government, are entrusted with public funds that are donated by generous individuals as well as collected through court fees. That someone would violate this trust is irreprehensible.

Formal audits are not conducted on nonprofits unless there is a reason to do so. The IRS has oversight in order for nonprofits to maintain their tax-exempt status but it is likely that an IRS audit will result from this scandal.

R. Shackleford said...

Billy Joe Shaver is one of the few REAL country singers left, not one of these sissy metro sexual pop Country Lite posers you get nowadays. Straight from the '40s and '50s.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I'm with you, RS. My favorite C&W song of all time is his "Georgia on a Fast Train."

Pam said...

Sending out the police only on verified alarms would certainly be a good idea. Every time someone opens the door at our church after hours the alarm goes off and we can't afford the fees charged, which go up with each succeeding false alarm.

Anonymous said...

Forgiving my daughter's killer--wonder how she'll feel if that murderer decides to commit more violent crime.

I find it difficult to understand the disloyalty involved with forgiving someone who deliberately took your child's life.

23 years isn't enough. I'd be inclined to kill the guy.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

7:12, the difference is she lived through the experience and you're just anonymously shooting off your mouth. Christ forgave his own killers, after all; that you can't understand why someone would do so says much more about you than it disparages her.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it disparages me in the slightest. I have read some psychological stuff about it--one school of thought is that the person who did it has so much power over the victim's family that one way to deal with the power asymmetry is to exercise the power of forgiveness. In any event, there is NFW I would ever ever forgive someone who deliberately murdered my child, nor would I forgive the jerks at the parole board who decided to let him out after a scant 23 years. And you may consider it bluster--but I would definitely want to put a bullet in his head.

Anonymous said...

My daughter was murdered in 1985 and I am still "living through the experience". I do not know how anyone can forgive a person who takes the life of your child for no reason. Yes, your initial thoughts are to find them and kill them, but in today's society consummating those thoughts puts you in the same class as the killers.

You must let the criminal justice system do it's thing, pitiful as it is in most cases. Im my "case" a guilty plea was made in exchange for??? who knows for sure. The shooter is sent to prison and his attorney requests he be allowed to serve his time in another state for fear the victim's father will have something bad done to him. Inmate is transfered out of state to do his time.

Inmate is paroled in spite of stained institutional record and requests from victim's relatives for denial. Parole folks also allow inmate to return to his home state, California, because that is where his family is and the victim's father is not.Is this the same board that I read on this blog, has no compassion? Yep!.

The killer and his companions were caught as a result of the reward posting (There was no connection between the victim and the POS; he was shooting at someone else, missed, and the errant projectile struck my daughter who just happened to be walking on a public street at the same time). Local business men and Crimestoppers offered a large reward for information concerning the persons responsibile. Thank God for Crime Stoppers

I'll be the first to admit that Jesus Christ did a lot I could not and I am very thankful for his presence.

Retired 2004

Anonymous said...

How in the world is it disloyal to forgive someone who killed your daughter. People who have lived through the experience should know best how to deal with their anger and loss. Reading a book certainly provides limited insight. Please show the woman some respect. Do you think that she hasn't thought of how she would feel if he did something else. Imagine how discouraging it would be to live a life of bitterness and hate and to withhold the release of that because of what someone might do next. By the way, forgiving someone has nothing to do with what they might do next. It has to do with what they have done.

I have incredible respect for that woman.