Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Reasonably Suspicious, June 2019 episode: 2019 #txlege roundup, Dallas cops' racist Facebook posts, and are 'progressive prosecutors' really a thing?

Here's the June 2019 episode of Just Liberty's Reasonably Suspicious podcast:

In this month's episode:

Top Stories
Fill in the Blank
  • Texas Supreme Court: DAs can order prosecutors to violate constitutional rights
  • Bail-reform died, and that's a good thing
  • Should Texas prisoners all become plumbers?
Discussion: Are progressive prosecutors really a thing?

The Last Hurrah
  • Red-light cameras abolished, will debts be erased?
  • Colorado, Oklahoma surpassing Texas on #cjreform
  • Evidence left behind after Houston SWAT raid
Find a transcript below the jump.

Transcript, Reasonably Suspicious podcast, June 2019 episode, hosted by Scott Henson and Amanda Marzullo

Mandy Marzullo: Hi. This is Amanda Marzullo. This May, a man was released from the Arlington City Jail. Within two minutes of exiting the building, he noticed a vehicle parked at the curb, running, and with the keys in the ignition. At this point, our hero got into the car and drove away like a bat out of hell, exceeding 100 miles per hour as he weaved in and out of traffic, and ultimately lost control of the vehicle, rolled it several times, and totaled it. So Scott, what do you think drove this fellow to engage in such reckless behavior just two minutes after leaving the local lockup?

Scott Henson: You know, I'm glad you asked because this was all a big misunderstanding that got blown out of proportion by the media. Obviously I had no intention of stealing the car. When I came out and saw the vehicle empty and running with the keys in it, I just assumed it was a new service from Uber. I thought, "Damn, technology these days is amazing. This is awesome." And I just got in it and drove away. The driver I'd called probably showed up a few minutes later. It was all a big misunderstanding.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah, yeah. And the misunderstanding clearly explains why you decided to accelerate to 100 miles per hour.

Scott Henson: Well, there's a reason I'm calling a rideshare service, Mandy, I'm a terrible driver.

Mandy Marzullo: You know, I'm not either, but that's why I don't drive at 100 miles per hour.

Scott Henson: Well, to each their own. I find the rideshare services very convenient.

Scott Henson: At any rate, hello boys and girls, and welcome to the June 2019 episode of Just Liberty's Reasonably Suspicious Podcast covering Texas criminal justice politics and policy. I'm here today with our good friend, Mandy Marzullo, who's executive director of the Texas Defender Service. How are you doing, Mandy?

Mandy Marzullo: Never been better, Scott.

Scott Henson: I don't even believe that after this session. Good Lord.

Mandy Marzullo: Well, every day-

Scott Henson: We're all picking ourselves up off the mat.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah, yeah. Every day is a blessing, Scott. Don't forget that.

Scott Henson: This month, Mandy and I review what happened on justice reform bills with the Texas legislature. Dozens of Dallas cops got caught posting prejudice musings on Facebook. And Mandy and I discuss what it really means to run for office as a progressive prosecutor in Texas.

Scott Henson: Mandy, what are you looking forward to talking about on the podcast today?

Mandy Marzullo: Progressive prosecutors. It's a subject that baffles me. And I'm always happy to think about it.

Scott Henson: I consider them like Bigfoot. Sort of a mythological creature. But we'll talk about that soon. First up, the national group called the Plain View Project to analyze thousands of social media posts from current and former police officers in a handful of departments of varying sizes including Dallas and Dennison in Texas, and discovered a significant number of posts that were bigoted, promoted violence, belittled due process, or otherwise undermine public trust and law enforcement.

Scott Henson: Buzzfeed broke the story, which the New York Times and Washington Post followed up. But in Dallas, the morning news and local TV news ignored the story for days, choosing instead to give voice to attacks on Renee Hall, the city's first black female chief, for allegedly being soft on crime. In the context of requesting funding for a department's gang unit, Chief Hall had rightfully suggested that the failure to focus on prisoner re-entry was contributing to former inmates returning to violent street gangs because they couldn't find housing, jobs, and a path to rehabilitation upon release.

Scott Henson: But critics jumped at the chance to claim she was soft on crime and wouldn't arrest violent offenders, which was clearly a misrepresentation. So Mandy, why do you think the media in Dallas are so focused on Chief Hall's comment, but waited for days to report on bigoted and problematic comments by dozens of current and former Dallas police officers?

Mandy Marzullo: I think what we're seeing is that the reporters in Dallas who have been covering these two stories clearly do not understand public safety issues and how to ensure it, and what is and what is not a good policy. So sort of like as you suggested in the prompt here, the Dallas Chief, Renee Hall's policies make a lot of sense. That is just a responsible thing to do. It's been shown time and time again that if you want someone not to re-offend, you have to set them up for success when they get out because the time you spent incarcerated sort of destroys your support system.

Scott Henson: And especially because she's specifically talking about gang members, this was all in the context of her requesting more money for her gang program at the department. And so it's really disingenuous to think that, oh, when a gang member gets out of prison and has no support services, no re-entry help or anything and is flailing on their own, can't get a job, can't get housing, that they might turn back to their old job, right.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah, no. I mean, gang crime in general is typically the type of crime that happens when someone doesn't have alternatives. No one grows up and says, "Yes, I want to deal drugs. I want to be on the street corner here. I want to engage in turf wars and raise my mortality, the odds of my mortality." It doesn't make any sense.

Scott Henson: And meanwhile, let's talk about these Facebook posts from dozens and dozens of Dallas cops. Oh, my gosh. That was such a worse set of commentary than anything the Chief said. That scared me to death. What the Chief said was totally reasonable.

Mandy Marzullo: And in good policy. That was good policy. And then what we're talking about with the Plane ... Yeah. The Plane View Project's work exposed a public safety threat.

Scott Henson: Exactly.

Mandy Marzullo: A legitimate one. I mean, when you look at some of posts to Facebook that they had, a lot of them are promoting and endorsing the use of force in unreasonable circumstances.

Scott Henson: Glorifying it.

Mandy Marzullo: Glorifying it. Like one said statistics show that criminals commit less crimes after they've been shot. So aside from the grammar there, that is saying let's shoot people.

Scott Henson: That's right. That's right. It solves problems. And they're very explicitly, in some of these, saying violence solves problems.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah. Again, that's exactly what one of them said at one point. This is a good thing. And that is terrifying on a number of levels. One, it's showing that they're very likely to either violate your rights or kill you. Or two, it's also making people who fall into some of the groups that they are poking fun at in these posts, there are other sort of blatantly racist posts in these Facebook commentaries, less likely to call the police, which makes them more likely to be a victim of crime.

Scott Henson: Absolutely. If I were Muslim and saw those posts that the Plain View Project exposed on Islam on those issues, I would never call the Dallas police department because there's a 14% chance or whatever it's going to be one of these guys that picks up the line. And oh my gosh. So it was really outlandish. It was outlandish that the media got so focused on her wanting to pillar Renee Hall for having the temerity to imagine that there might be a reason that someone who commits a violent crime turned to a life of crime. Maybe they had few options. Maybe there's a backstory. Maybe every individual has their own narrative that they have to live with.

Mandy Marzullo: Or if you don't even believe in government providing these services, but that in doing that we're going to save money. We're going to incarcerate less.

Scott Henson: And reduce violence.

Mandy Marzullo: And reduce violence.

Scott Henson: But then at the same time these cops that are actively promoting violence, that are actively promoting harmful behaviors, we have nothing to say about them for days and days. Finally the Associated Press had run the story and even updated the story. Then eventually the Dallas Morning News last night added a couple of lines to the AP story, and that was their coverage after a full week. Wow. This is a big thing. And most of the other cities where the Plane View Project researched, actually reacted in a more responsible way in St. Louis and Philadelphia and Phoenix. The police departments had to answer questions. The reporters actually behaved like someone who cared about these things and pressed them for information. It just didn't happen in Dallas, and I'm not quite sure why.

Mandy Marzullo: Next up, the '86 Texas legislature is over, but very few reform legislation passed, and what did increased penalties. So Scott, let's talk about what the legislature did and didn't accomplish this session. Why don't you get us started?

Scott Henson: Well, the biggest they accomplished by far, and we should give credit where it's due is the abolition of the driver responsibility surcharge.

Mandy Marzullo: Yay.

Scott Henson: Yay indeed. Oh, my gosh. This is a big deal. 1.5 million people current have their licenses suspended because they couldn't afford to pay these surcharges. It has been a complete scourge on the justice system for poor people on driver's license suspensions. Just an array of issues this raised. And we finally are getting rid of it. Everyone who had their license suspended before and owed debt, those debts will be wiped clean as of September 1st. Going forward, they are keeping the surcharges and renaming them criminal fines for DWI, but eliminating them for all the others, which is 88% of them. So it's a really big deal. This is going to help hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people. And that's easily the most important criminal justice thing that the legislature did this time.

Scott Henson: Some of the others were smaller potatoes. They did abolish red light cameras, which conceivably could reduce a lot of existing debt and keep from racking up more. There's some smaller updates to debtors prison legislation from last time and reducing the number of driver's license suspensions that are automatically done. And those are all good.

Scott Henson: But almost all of the big stuff that was being pushed by reform organizations just flat out failed. The Marijuana Penalty Reduction Bill that both parties it endorsed, Governor Abbott had endorsed, it failed. The Democrats killed the Sandra Bland Bill, and the house, that was endorsed by both parties. Bipartisan reform failed. Prison air-conditioning got a billion dollar fiscal note. And so the bill changed to say they'd study it. And even that couldn't pass. An amendment to strip the dead-suspect loophole out of the public information act was taken out in the Senate. Kirk Watson had carried the bill [to which it was amended] and he asked for that to be taken off of. And just over and over, lots of things that had bipartisan support that were moderate, but important steps forward just failed. I know you had some on your death penalty that were almost inexplicable.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah, no. They just didn't make sense. I mean, a lot of bills that we were supporting made it out of the House only to die in the Senate. And the big one that got the most coverage was a bill that was in response to a series of decisions by the US Supreme Court that said that the way we are determining whether a defendant is intellectually disabled and exempt from the death penalty violates the Constitution.

Mandy Marzullo: Now for the longest time, we were using a set of standards that were based off of, in part at least ... You know, Of Mice and Men, there was-

Scott Henson: Right. Fictional characters. Literally they're drawn from fiction.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah. Fiction. And the Supreme Court said, "Hey, you've got to use the medical standards here and look," or professional standards, as they call them, in employing it in figuring this out. And then we had a situation where the Court of Criminal Appeals said, "Yes, we're going to use the diagnostic criteria," but then looked at factors that had no bearing on that assessment. So the Supreme Court again in February said, "No, Texas. Really get this right."

Mandy Marzullo: So the bill that we were running was making sure that courts employ a standard that is scientific, and to make sure that the procedures that they used is limited to just that determination. You're not considering other factors that go awry. And for some reason we just could not get that through the Senate.

Scott Henson: Well, that was the story of this session is a lot of good reform legislation passed the House and died the moment it got to the Senate or it got amended on the Senate bills in the House and then got stripped off at the end. The Senate was just a massive stumbling block. And we've talked about this before, but Lieutenant Governor really just intervened and imposed his will in a way that really was unusual even for him. I mean, there's an extent to which the presiding officer, the Senate, or the House historically has sort of let the members define their own issues and their own priorities. And they may have their own priorities like Dennis Bonnen wanted school financial form this time around. But those aren't the only priorities. But in the Texas Senate, Dan Patrick's priorities have become the only priorities.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah. I mean, this was the first time I've ever heard of sort of the chair of the body's staff intervening to determine what bills even received a hearing. So it's not discussing comes to a vote and what doesn't. I mean, that's limiting what we can have a dialogue on.

Scott Henson: Right, or just refusing to refer bills in the first place. Lots of stuff just didn't even get referred once it came over from the House.

Mandy Marzullo: Hey, Lieutenant Governor has absolute power. It's just the first time we've seen someone employ it that way.

Scott Henson: As aggressively on as many bills, there's always circumstance where someone will intervene and do it that way. We had a bill to legalize needle exchange in Texas that passed the House a couple sessions ago. And we'd really been working the Senate. And it looked like we had our 19 votes to pass the Senate. And Dan Patrick could tell. And so it was never referred.

Mandy Marzullo: Exactly.

Scott Henson: Or it was referred at the very last minute when it was too late to have a hearing, I think, at the end.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah. I remember. And then he sent it to a committee that was never going to let it go.

Scott Henson: That's right. So you occasionally will see it as a one-off. This time it was a first order of business. Oh, we have to go check with the big boss before we can even hear it in a committee or tell you whether or not we support it going into their offices.

Mandy Marzullo: And normally, you know, I think that maybe some of this was happening previously. What surprised me, there are problems with this from a policy standpoint, why does it make sense. One is that there's no informed decision making. The purpose of a hearing is to flesh out what issues there are, what opposition there is, to make a front-end decision on an issue is really relying a lot on your staff. And in this case, I really think he had a staffer that was more pro-government than the rest of Texas.

Scott Henson: Right. Sort of like the Government-Always-Wins faction on the Court of Criminal Appeals, it's just always going to side with the state. Doesn't really matter what ... That I agree.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah. And some of the arguments that I was hearing indirectly, because he wouldn't meet with me, didn't make sense if you were an actual expert in the area.

Scott Henson: There was a lot going on, and I feel like we also didn't have champions like we've had in the past in the Senate.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah.

Scott Henson: So in the past, we had people like Rodney Ellis or, after he left, Konni Burton on the GOP side stepped up. People willing to actually push reform agendas more aggressively. And there's just no one like that anymore in the Senate. We have quite a few champions on the House side. On the Senate side, no one has stepped up in the way that Rodney Ellis, for example, had for years and years to say, "Okay, I'm going to be the one to lead the charge on civil rights issues." That person doesn't exist right now.

Mandy Marzullo: It's unfortunate.

Mandy Marzullo: Next, Scott and I play fill in the blank, a game in which we recommend how to finish the same thought.

Scott Henson: Okay, me first. The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that the former Nueces County District Attorney was immune for liability when he fired a subordinate for turning over exculpatory evidence to a defendant. Mandy, fill in the blank. The court's ruling sends the message to prosecutors that-

Mandy Marzullo: They should violate the law if their supervisor tells them to. I mean, what's really strange about this decision is that in the private sector ... So for example if I instruct one of my attorneys to violate the law and they refuse to do so, I absolutely cannot fire them for insubordination. But now if our adversary, the prosecutors, if the elected says to the line staff attorney on the case, "Hey, suppress this evidence," and they don't, he can fire the subordinate.

Scott Henson: And in this case did fire them. I have something similar. I'd say it sends the message to prosecutors that elected district attorneys are above the law in Texas.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah.

Scott Henson: That it doesn't really matter if Supreme Court or the Michael Morton Act or whatever says you have a right to this information, that if the DA wants to violate the law, they will not be held accountable. And in fact, only you will be held accountable for refusing to violate someone's constitutional rights ...

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah, it puts-

Scott Henson: ... If you're the line attorney.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah, I mean, it leaves you with no option, but to go to the Bar every time. And in this case, in the Hillman case, he called the Bar for advice. So it means after the act, you have to file a Bar grievance.

Scott Henson: And that's still wouldn't keep you from getting fired.

Mandy Marzullo: Absolutely not.

Mandy Marzullo: Next up, bail legislation died this year at the Texas legislature, getting bogged down after Governor Abbott intervened. By the end, neither the reformers nor the bail industry supported it, and a bill that passed the House was never referred. So Scott, fill in the blank. Texan should be blank that bail reform didn't pass this year.

Scott Henson: Grateful. The bill as it finally passed the house was a complete mess and didn't really address any of the fundamental issues being raised in all the federal litigation around the state. It was just a new set of bureaucracies and people to try and get their fingerprints on the process, and was not going to be anything that helped. And no matter what, because it didn't affect any of the issues that play in the federal litigation, we were going to be back in two years anyway. So why do this now? It didn't make any sense. And I was very relieved and happy that it didn't go all the way.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah. I don't have much to add to that other than happy that they'll be informed decisions two years down the road.

Scott Henson: Right. The thing really had sort of a steamroller aspect to it. Once the Governor got his version of the bill filed, instead of the original version, they just sort of put their foot on the gas and were ramrodding it through. But there wasn't the kind of informed debate you're talking about that could have made it actually useful.

Scott Henson: Arguably the most absurd outcome from the '86 Texas legislature was that they accidentally abolished the plumbing board, leading one media outlet to announce we're all master plumbers now. So Mandy, I've been thinking more than 65,000 prisoners leave TDCJ ever year, and many of them struggle to get jobs. But as of September 1st, all of them will be qualified to work as plumbers in Texas, although in larger cities, some local regulations may still apply.

Scott Henson: So Mandy, fill in the blank. The idea that former prisoners should hang out shingles as plumbers is-

Mandy Marzullo: Great. I see no problem with this. I mean, plumbing is not that ... I mean, if you have to shut off a water main somewhere, I think that's when a license needs to come in, but right now there is a lot of work that falls within the purview of plumbing that you can learn how to do and perform very competently after watching YouTube videos.

Scott Henson: Right. And in fact, the last time I had a plumber over, my plumber in fact watched a YouTube video to check and see exactly what it was they were doing. So I think that's right.

Scott Henson: I think the idea that they should all become plumbers is opportune, certainly. We didn't have this option before. And I think you're right that a lot of plumbing is the lower level stuff. If you're talking about the plumber to manage the gas systems and the hospital, okay. Yeah, go ahead and require more certification. But the guy who came over and pulled the utensils that had fallen down into my sink trap out ...

Mandy Marzullo: No.

Scott Henson: ... That maybe we don't need.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah, no. I connected my own dishwasher. Not that hard. Just going to say it.

Scott Henson: But it's insane that they let the plumbing board lapse.

Mandy Marzullo: Yes.

Scott Henson: That is ridiculous. It is just one of the funniest things to happen in quite a while.

Mandy Marzullo: You know, you find opportunities where you can, Scott.

Scott Henson: Finally, I wanted to take a few moments today to talk about this new notion of progressive prosecutors we're hearing so much about in the justice system. In San Antonio, for example, Joe Gonzales won praise for refusing to prosecute trace drug cases and marijuana possession of less than one ounce.

Scott Henson: But John Creuzot in Dallas received extreme partisan backlash when he announced his de-incarceration reforms this spring mostly centered around his decision not to prosecute people who steal for subsistence as opposed to profit.

Scott Henson: And none of Texas so-called progressive prosecutors have proposed agendas as aggressive as DAs in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and elsewhere. I would expect a couple of our democratic district attorneys to face primary opponents in 2020 because they'd failed to enact as progressive in agendas as their supporters want.

Scott Henson: But I also wonder if we aren't fundamentally misunderstanding the prosecutors role by demanding they be more "progressive." Can an agency whose primary purpose is to seek punishment ever be progressive? Mandy, what do you think? Is the idea of a progressive prosecutor a pipe dream? Or do you see electing reform-minded district attorneys as a realistic strategy for reducing mass incarceration?

Mandy Marzullo: I probably don't know if it's a pipe dream. I think what I'd say it's a misnomer because progressive implies that there's a political affiliation. And really, what we should expect or be asking of prosecutors and what I think we're getting at is right sizing this use of government power. And that I think cuts along both party lines. We want a prosecutor that's not gratuitously incarcerating people or seeking punishments that serve no function.

Mandy Marzullo: For example, if you incarcerate someone for a minor misdemeanor offense, what you're really doing is making that person more likely to commit crime because incarceration disrupts their whole family and means that they'll lose their job. And you're setting them up for failure. So I just sort of disagree with this branding inherently because I think it's really more about responsibility. And if you look at some of the stuff that Larry Krasner's been doing in Philadelphia, declining to seek jail time in misdemeanors or certain misdemeanor cases. Or documenting the expense to the government that would occur if they actually saw that prison time. Those are ... If you think about it, you could see a Republican prosecutor doing that.

Scott Henson: That's right. In many ways those are actually conservative reforms in a real way and in terms of like a fiscal conservative and a smaller government footprint, all that. I agree that it's a misnomer and it's bad branding. Because I feel like no prosecutor will ever live up to it. A prosecutor's job to my mind is inherently regressive. There's nothing progressive about it. A prosecutor has just one tool in the toolbox. They lash out with the power of the state to exact retribution on someone who violates its dicta. That's what the prosecutor does in all circumstances. Someone has violated the law. The prosecutor threatens them with punishment and applies punishment if they're able. And that's what they have to try and influence the system.

Scott Henson: Well, there's nothing progressive about punishment. It's regressive thing inherently. You're only going to damage the person that you're punishing. It's why you're doing it.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah.

Scott Henson: And so there's no progressive aspect to it. And I feel like that we set a false expectation there when we think that ... And this national movement that I really in many ways disagree with that's been saying, "Oh, well the prosecutor is the most powerful actor in the system. We have to change the prosecutors, and then everything will be fixed." Well on the ground when we do that, it turns around and then the judges are the problem, or the local criminal defense bar is the problem, or the court of criminal appeals is the problem. Or that we're in a system, an ecosystem, and that one actor is not omnipotent, and in fact their role is limited to lashing out in retribution.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah, as opposed to talking about how we have a whole system that is capturing too many people.

Scott Henson: That's right. So I don't believe there is such a thing. Like I said in the opening, I kind of think it's Bigfoot. I think you're searching for something that doesn't actually exist.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah, I guess maybe we're agreeing with each other at the end of the day. I do think that we can have a responsible prosecutor.

Scott Henson: Right. Right. I do too. And I think that's really the most you can hope for.

Mandy Marzullo: Yeah. And God help us, we need somebody to do that.

Scott Henson: Now it's time for our rapid fire segment we call The Last Hurrah. Mandy, are you ready?

Mandy Marzullo: I'm raring to go. First one, the Governor has already signed legislation ending most red light camera systems in Texas with a handful grandfathered until their contracts end. Scott, what should happen to outstanding debts for outstanding red light tickets?

Scott Henson: They absolutely should abolish those debts and get rid of them just like the state did with the driver responsibility surcharge. It's probably a mistake not to do it in the legislation and simply require it. But every city that has red light camera systems needs to turn around and get rid of that debt. This was a sort of a public statement about Texans don't really want this anymore. They keep getting shot down at local elections. Now the legislature's done it. It's time to just be done with this.

Scott Henson: All right, my turn. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick refused to let the Senate consider legislation to reduce marijuana penalties this spring, even though the measure was endorsed by the state GOP platform and Governor Greg Abbott. Meanwhile, Colorado lowered penalties for possessing Schedule 1 drugs to a misdemeanors this year, joining Oklahoma, Utah, and several other states in Right On Crime style reforms. So Mandy, when will Texas laws on controlled substances become as progressive as Oklahoma's?

Mandy Marzullo: I don't know. When we all start moving to Oklahoma for its well-founded policies.

Scott Henson: I don't know if that'll get us to change ours, but the idea that anyone should have to move to Oklahoma for good government is just a bizarre, bizarre thought.

Mandy Marzullo: Bizarre, but it's the reality we live in, Scott.

Scott Henson: Oh, my gosh. I've always said the only good thing to come out of Oklahoma is I-35, and now I've been proven wrong.

Mandy Marzullo: Oh, yeah. No, that was not a good thing. Last one. Last month reporters went through a house at Pecan Park in Houston where narcotics officers raided the home and killed two people and their dogs. They were surprised to find tagged evidence left behind, including bullet casings, baggies with possible narcotics in them, and even a couple of human teeth. So Scott, why do you think Houston police left all this evidence behind?

Scott Henson: Honestly, I think it's because they had shot and killed the two suspects who lived in the house. And so the only reason that you would gather evidence is if anyone intended to hold police officers accountable for what went on there. And it's very clear the Houston police has no interest in doing that whatsoever. And so why gather your bullet casings or narcotics baggies or human teeth if ...

Mandy Marzullo: If it's inculpatory.

Scott Henson: ... The only thing that it can be used for is to hold officers accountable, and no one in the department wants that to occur.

Scott Henson: All right. We're out of time. We'll try and do better the next time. Until then, this is
Scott Henson with Just Liberty.

Mandy Marzullo: And I'm Amanda Marzullo with the Texas Defender Service.

Scott Henson: You can subscribe to the Reasonably Suspicious Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud, or listen to it on my blog, Grits For Breakfast. We'll be back next month with more and hopefully better news. And until then, keep fighting for criminal justice reform. It's the only way it's going to happen.

Mandy Marzullo: Oh, and a shout-out to Elsa Alcala, my former partner at the Texas legislature. I miss you already.

Scott Henson: You did a great job, Elsa. Glad we got to work with you this session.

1 comment:

Norm Forsythe said...

"Dallas cops' racist Facebook posts" I really can't wrap my head around being so into social media that I have to post thing to the world that may come back to bite me. If you have to say something, text a family member or friend. It's this "tweeting or posting" that is getting actor fired and other major talent or authority figures in trouble. CLEAR EVERYTHING THROUGH A TEAM! You have the resources. CRAZYNESS!