Friday, December 09, 2016

Roundup: Unprepared, Uncounted, Untrained, and On the Hook

Here are a few odds and ends which haven't made it into independent Grits posts but merit readers' attention.

More Harris County bail litigation 
Harris County faces additional litigation over excessive bail and unnecessary pretrial detention, reported the Houston Chronicle. "In July and August, hundreds of people were arrested and kept in the city jail for more than three days without being granted a hearing." Read more at Fault Lines.

CCA ruling forbids warrantless search of text messages
Judge Kevin Yeary authored a rare, pro-Fourth Amendment ruling for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to say police need a warrant to read text messages from your phone. Two judges - Keller and Hervey - would not have excluded the evidence because, even though the defense thrice objected, they believed the objections weren't specific enough to apply. See Chuck Lindell's Statesman coverage, the majority opinion, and Keller's dissent.

Houston On the Hook
A federal judge refused to let the city of Houston out of a lawsuit over a bad police shooting in part because the department has never in recent memory held officers accountable when they unjustifiably kill someone.

What's a judge to do when neither the DA nor defendants are prepared for trial? Wait.

Just because offenders are eligible to vote in Texas once they're "off paper" doesn't mean election authorities will count their votes, discover sex offenders in Texas' "civil commitment" program.

Training kids how not to be shot by police?
Sen. John Whitmire has filed his bill to teach 9th graders how not to get shot by police when they're stopped on the street. Grits still thinks it'd be simpler to train police to shoot fewer of them. The only helpful thing they could teach IMO would be how to assert one's rights to end police encounters as quickly as possible. The rest is going to be a function of how well police are trained, not the citizenry.

Judge arrested on Class C at airport
Actor Judge Reinhold was arrested on a Class C misdemeanor at Dallas Love Field for animated complaints about TSA searching him one too many times when he'd already been through a scanner. This is a good example of the pointlessness of Class C arrests. Once police arrived, ticketing him, escorting him from the security line, and sending him on his way would have been sufficient for public safety's sake. Arresting him and making him spend the night in jail was punitive, not something necessary or particularly useful from a law enforcement perspective.

Government wants Apple users data
Apple saw a 26 percent increase in requests for user data by the government and complied with three quarters of them.

On the limits crime stats
See a short video on the shortcomings of Uniform Crime Report data.

Do low interest rates prevent crime?
Correlation is not causation, but the correlation between low interest rates and low crime is an interesting one, indeed. And the relationshiop seems pretty robust.

Evaluating long prison sentences case by case
This useful and probative framing of the issue of lengthy prison sentences was powerfully presented. Take the "quiz."


Gadfly said...

Maybe we could skip the middleman and teach kids to fear politicians like John Whitmire?

ChingaLosPuercos said...

How are they going to educate people not to be Black, when dealing with police?

Anonymous said...

@grits all police interactions with the public should be scripted like at Chick Fil A when you say thank you and they respond "my pleasure." Cops should have similar scripts to take their attitudes out of the picture. Most cops don't need the training but some definitely do.

Anonymous said...

We need legislative action to educate students on legal rights and the law? shouldn't CIVICS be part of the educational curriculum anyway, starting much, much earlier than 9th grade?
Whitmire has greater problems to tackle.