Thursday, February 17, 2011

Drug courts are OK, and other stories

Here are a several stories that may interest Grits readers, starting off with items from couple of Houston criminal defense blawggers doing some heavy lifting:

Monday morning quarterbacking decision on police officer indictments
Paul Kennedy rounds up coverage from a town hall meeting in Houston where he sat on the dais, and critiques the District Attorney's decision not to seek felony charges against police officers whose beating of a 15-year old boy was incidentally caught on a nearby business' security video. Writes Kennedy: "When this issue of police brutality is raised at a city council meeting, the mayor, Annise Parker, waves her hand and tells the council and the audience that a public meeting is not the correct forum to discuss police brutality. What then, Ms. Parker, is the correct forum? We all know it happens. Until we acknowledge that fact, nothing will be done to stop it."

Part of the (Numbers) Game
Meanwhile, Mark Bennett on Tuesday published an internal memo from the DA's office laying out the rules for a game where prosecutors compete against one another for prestigious assignments by seeing who can first rack up the largest number of jury trials, a topic that received followup coverage from the Houston Chronicle.

'Deaths, lawsuits don’t stop expansion of GEO immigration prisons'
At the San Antonio Current, Michael Barajas has a critical feature cataloging recent victories and defeats for the private prison company, the Geo Group, particularly its aggressive expansion into the immigration detention market. The subhed to the story is: "Deaths, lawsuits don’t stop expansion of GEO immigration prisons."

Drug courts are OK
Those interested in the subject of specialty courts might be interested in this account of drug courts in Oklahom from the Tulsa World. 

Proposed criminal justice budget cuts at USDOJ
Via Sentencing Law and Policy, "the Crime Report has this effective entry, based on this official document, reviewing the criminal justice cuts in the proposed budget released today by President Obama's administration."

Spooks in San Antone
Off topic, I suppose, but did you know there's a secret CIA facility at Camp Stanley, an Army weapons depot north of San Antonio? Nobody else did either, apparently, until a whistleblower revealed it in the New York Times, alleging that "C.I.A. officials abused the State Secrets Privilege doctrine in an effort to cover up their own negligence." There have been all sorts of spooks migrating to San Antonio and Austin in the last few years, but I hadn't heard about that particular connection until Jason Trahan made it.

No comments: