Monday, November 11, 2013

Roundup: 'Too Big to Jail' and other stories

Here are several notable news items that caught Grits' eye today that deserve readers' attention:

Obstacles to relief for defendants incarcerated for a voided crime
Mark Bennett suggests four ways defendants convicted of the talking-dirty-to-a-minor statute voided by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals might receive relief, and also lays out a "nightmare" scenario in which some might remain incarcerated if their attorneys don't fall on their swords and admit incompetence for not challenging the statute's constitutionality. Then he followed up with an additional post identifying seven categories of individuals who'll likely be seeking relief and identifying potential hurdles to their success. Must-read material for those interested in the subject.

'When driving the speed limit is breaking the law'
An only in Texas moment from attorney-blogger Paul Kennedy, following up on a Houston Chronicle report that DPS has begun cracking down on drivers who remain in the left lane after/instead of passing. ... Because, obviously, there are no bigger problems for DPS to confront.

GEO buys Montgomery County mental-health unit
Montgomery County has chosen to sell a forensic mental health facility to the GEO Group, a private prison firm. See related Grits coverage.

Katie Couric interviews Anthony Graves
Katie Couric last week interviewed Anthony Graves and his attorney about his time on death row, the experience of solitary confinement and his ultimate exoneration.

Tables turned in Mineola Swingers case
At Texas Monthly, Michael Hall reports that the chief accuser in the infamous Mineola Swingers case has herself been accused of abuse by two of the children involved in the episode.

No momentum to repeal CA realignment
Despite much hand-wringing over large-scale de-incarceration as part of California's prison "realignment," a new report found stakeholders don't support its repeal "because they know the previous system was failing on almost every dimension."

Wall Street money launderers 'Too Big to Jail'?
I doubt proposed legislation in Congress to regulate money laundering will go anywhere, but I liked the phrase "Too Big to Jail." That about sums it up. See related Grits coverage.

Citizen vigilantes in Michoacan combat cartel the government couldn't
Check out this fascinating and terrible story from the Mexican state of Michoacan in which local vigilantes have, for now, succeeded in driving away the Knights Templar drug cartel where the government had failed.

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