Monday, February 13, 2017

'Outdated messages,' and timely ones

A few odds and ends while your correspondent is focused elsewhere.
  • Maybe Texas should build a monument to legislators who end asset forfeiture, writes conservative commentator Roy Reynolds in rebuttal to President Trump's recent digression on the topic. Well done. Columnist George Will also took a run at the topic. MORE: The President's unexpected approbation for civil asset forfeiture appears to have gone a long way toward consolidating support for reform. See supportive commentary from the Dallas News, the Abilene Reporter-News, and an op ed from state Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa in the McAllen Monitor. ALSO: From the New Yorker, which places the President's comments in the context of Texas' Tenaha case.
  • Check out coverage of Harris County bail litigation from the Houston Press. Can we please clone Meagan Flynn and spread her dopplegangers around the state to report courthouse stories? She's doing a bang up job on this complicated subject.
  • Retired Dallas Chief David Brown was among a law enforcement group visiting the President this week seeking criminal-justice reform. Here's a report he co-authored suggesting a criminal justice agenda for the new Administration.
  • Ron DeLord, long-time CLEAT mugwump and police union attorney, has a new book out he's co-written with Ron York arguing that police unions have overreached. They believe that tactics of bitterly attacking all who criticize union stances, hoping to intimidate critics into silence, aren't working anymore. For example, "Outdated messages such as 'we risk our lives' are no longer resonating with elected officials or the public." I just got my copy in the mail, hot off the presses, and am only a couple of chapters in, but you'd almost think the Dallas police pension fiasco is a tailor-made case study of what he's talking about. Maybe he'll get there.
  • The other book which came in the mail this week was a review copy of Prof. John Pfaff's Locked In. Grits has discussed his theories in the past and will have more to say when I read the full volume.
  • Notifications of defendants where the Austin DNA lab screwed up, beginning with possible innocence cases, have begun to be sent out. There are about 2,200 cases in the first batch, of which they only had good addresses for 642. As is the case in the aftermath of all large-scale forensic errors, this will be an ongoing problem.


Anonymous said...

Re: APD forensics fiasco

"We are trying to identify anyone who suffered an adverse consequence, and DNA was material to that consequence,” [Assistant District Attorney Dexter] Gilford said.

Does this include all the victims who cases won't go forward because the forensics was botched? Which Police Officials have been fired for not doing their job correctly? Any names?

Anonymous said...

Is anyone out there credibly trying to end forfeitures? The most I see is a small number of people trying to modify some of the policies regarding the practice. Just curious.

Soronel Haetir said...

I don't think anyone is trying to do away with forfeiture, the most ambitious move I've seen is a desire to require a criminal conviction first.

A Waco Friend said...

Unless it is ill-gotten gain, Forfeiture should offset against any fines, fees, etc., and not constitute an additional punishment.

Miketrials said...

Uh, Waco Friend, how can anything that's NOT an ill-gotten gain (proceeds of criminal activity, as the persecutors like to say), get forfeited? Excuse me, how can it get forfeited, assuming we're in a free country?

I do not compute.


Anonymous said...

It might be of interest to those that have authorized the use of a LOMAR (letter of mark and reprisal) that "due process of Law" is REQUIRED for any taking of rights or property from anyone covered by our "laws". Just filing suit against the asset is absurd. This is called sedition. You are altering the Constitutional form of government. Everyone one in office, appointed and elected, is supposed to have tendered an oath to this document. It is high time that they read it.

Anonymous said...

The LEO "We risk our lives for you" message has never resonated with me, because that's what we pay them to do. Don't like it? Find another profession. Otherwise, do your job and follow the Constitution. Oh, and as an additional thought for LEO's, your life is no more valuable than mine.

Jefe said...

Thanks for honoring Meagan Flynn. I am a huge fan of her reporting.

Anonymous said...

Regarding an outdated message not listed here, is anyone aware of what the final disposition of the trial of former parole commissioner Pamela Freeman in Walker County for Tampering with Government Records? Walker County website notes that 4 of the 5 indictments show "Jury Trial 12-12-16, while one of the charges (27684) notes a 12-15-16 Motion and Order:

It's been well over 2 years since the underlying events occurred. Can anyone update?