Freeing the wrongfully convicted through science was the easy part. Now what?
Via....not seeing a whole lot of action.In the death penalty debate, Texas has a long-standing reputation for abiding by one guiding principal: an eye for an eye. But the state has increasingly chosen to holster its lethal-injection needles in recent years, with death-penalty sentences decrea ... More >>
No doubt you've seen the signs like the one at right; they've been around since 2004. The Dallas Police Department was among the first in the country to launch the Auto Theft Tracking Program, which involves putting monitoring devices in bait cars that the DPD can track and control after they've ... More >>
Dozens of teenage Explorers have been sexually assaulted by the cops they hoped to emulate.
Just a couple of weeks back some Brits asked Dallas County for the okee-doke to film a 3D programme in the county jail for a couple of days, to which the commissioners courts said: Sure, fine. But the request going before Dallas County higher-ups today is much, much bigger -- as in, 120 days' wor ... More >>
Richard HernandezHis family, defense attorneys -- even the bailiffs and the transport drivers -- noticed something was different about Seth Winder, who is standing trial in a Denton County court for allegedly murdering his 38-year-old lover Richard Hernandez in 2008, dismembering his body and ... More >>
The U.S. Attorney's Office sends word that a man named Ennis Harris Jackson will be going to federal prison for more than 17 years for his role in holding up a Loomis armored truck in May 2010 outside a Mesquite Bank of America branch. Jackson was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Barbar ... More >>
Stealing from the rich to ... oh, whatever. Funny is the message.
The council-approved mapCity Hall just sent word: At long last the city has submitted to the Department of Justice the new council districts map approved by the council on October 5. But that is hardly the entirety of the package sent to the DoJ yesterday: If you click here you'll find the massiv ... More >>
Photo by Leslie MinoraFive innocent men who were nearly put to death for others' crimes.Imagine spending five years in a Nebraska prison for having brutally murdered a teenage honor student but knowing that the real killer is at large. Or rolling over in the middle of the night to put your ar ... More >>
When last we checked in on the nearly 8-year-old (!) case involving those Plano ISD students (and their parents, more to the point) suing the district over those "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" pencils and candy canes they weren't allowed to distribute during winter-break parties, one of the ... More >>
Stories linking Los Zetas -- a drug cartel consisting of, among others, former Mexican Army commandos -- with North Texas have been around for years. Take this story, from three years ago, connecting a Collin County deputy constable with a cousin said to be working for the cartel. In March, The N ... More >>
Vigo says this show should've been his.In a Dallas federal courthouse on Tuesday, a civil lawsuit was filed against Dallas-based concert promoter Gabe Reed, accusing Reed and his company, Gabe Reed Productions, of fraud, breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation as pertains to a handful ... More >>
The Lubbock lawyer teamed up with Innocent Project lawyer Jeff Blackburn to see the state compensation for exonerees raised. Now both men are under fire from their clients.
The family of a dead teenage girl might disagree, even if the justice system didn't.
Actually, it was just one Picasso -- along with "real estate, boats and other personal water craft, luxury vehicles, artwork, furniture, antiques, musical instruments, jade, expensive jewelry and wine." Still. That's not how Tony Rand and his boys Greg and Bill were supposed to be spending more t ... More >>
No doubt you, the well-informed and engaged Friend of Unfair Park, are well aware that Dallas County's missing around, oh, $35 million that some bail bondsmen somehow forget to turn over to the county when their clients fail to show up for court. The Dallas Morning News had the story over the wee ... More >>
The finger-pointing game has begun in the wake of this year's Electric Daisy Carnival. Although any legal repercussions in regards to the festival that took place this weekend have yet to be determined, we're keeping our eye on the whole thing -- mostly because, let's face it, music and leg ... More >>
A couple of weeks back Texas Appleseed and ACLU of Texas reps were down in Austin asking why oh why do state school districts feel the need to write class C misdemeanor tickets to students, some as young as 6, in the case of the Dallas Independent School District back in '06-'07. John Whitmire's ... More >>
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan CombsOn the other side is the full release sent by the Texas Comptroller's office in which Susan Combs reveals that personal info belonging to millions of Texans was "inadvertently disclosed" on a server easily accessed by ... well, anyone, really. Among ... More >>
A couple of weeks back, Sam mentioned that Billy MacLeod, who's running for the District 2 city council seat against incumbent Pauline Medrano, has a few problems with the coming elections. Chief among them: Votes will be cast at Esperanza "Hope" Medrano Elementary School -- which so happens to b ... More >>
Photo by Harry WilonskyA Friend of Unfair Park asks if there's any news about those federal lawsuits filed following those copious Super Bowl ticket snafus. As a matter of fact, at this very moment, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Lynn is considering two things -- whether to consolidate the two ... More >>
This just in, stemming from this, and this. From the Garland Police Department: Garland investigators have obtained warrants for Aqib Talib and Okolo Talib in connection with a disturbance police responded to on March 21 in the 900 block of Green Pond Drive. On Monday, March 21, just before 7:30 ... More >>
Okpa, Kunkle, Natinsky and Rawlings at North Texas Food Bank debate this morningThere was a rather interesting exchange between mayoral candidates Mike Rawlings and David Kunkle at this morning's mayoral debate at the North Texas Food Bank. And it began with a question posed to all four candidate ... More >>
On the other side is a lengthy missive we just received from the Dallas County District Attorney's Office in which Craig Watkins outlines his to-do list for the new Legislative session. But you can probably guess what's top-of-the-pops with a D.A. seeking criminal system reforms: eyewitness ident ... More >>
The Associated Press this morning directs our attention to this year-in-review: The Death Penalty in 2010, released at midnight by the D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center. Says the report, Texas is still executing more inmates than any other state -- 17 in 2010, the lowest in almost a dec ... More >>
Clay ChabotBehind bars for more than 20 years, after being found guilty of the 1986 rape and murder of a Garland woman named Galua Crosby, Clay Chabot always maintained he was innocent. This morning, that all changed: In a Dallas courtroom, Chabot pleaded guilty to Crosby's murder. He was p ... More >>
A large-scale vandalization job at South Dallas's CorinthPark warehouse-workspace will be turned into an gallery exhibition in the Cedars tomorrow during the Cedars Open Studios Eighth Annual Studio Tour. Thousands of dollars worth of damage was done over a period of days last month by a "jealous ... More >>
Tom NowakMuch like other media outlets, we've been following the courthouse rumors of two prosecutors fired on Friday by First Assistant District Attorney Terri Moore as payback for attending the Election Day shindig at Hotel Palomar hosted by the Dallas County Republican Party. But until one ... More >>
Eleanor Mowery Sheets and husband NickyAnd so the long, sordid story of high-tone Realtors Eleanor and Nicky Sheets comes to an end. Four months after Eleanor pleaded guilty to four counts of tax evasion, she was sentenced this morning by U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney to a year in prison ... More >>
Click to embiggen to see where some of the West Dallas Gator Boys' drug houses wereBack in August Sam told you all about Tyrone Weatherall, a leader of the West Side Gator Boys -- and an exotic animal collector -- who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distrib ... More >>
If you've seen Republican Danny Clancy's latest political ad above or his first one, you know what he views as District Attorney Craig Watkins's biggest wart: never prosecuting a felony case. But that's not true, according to Kurt Watkins, Craig's cousin and campaign manager. In fact, Craig exami ... More >>
Bandit TrackerUnrelated, but while we're on the subject, Austin PD's looking for a man who last week robbed a bank wearing a George Bush mask.Surely you recall the tale of Inequa Rushing and Waylon McDonald? No? Then a refresher: In late January, the twosome robbed a bank at East R.L. Thornton Fr ... More >>
As mentioned yesterday, several of the Dallas County exonerees appeared on CNN's Larry King Live last night, where they were joined by the stars of the movie Conviction, The Innocence Project's Barry Sheck and Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins. On the other side you'll find King's int ... More >>
Back in June 2009, then-Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle told then-Dallas Observer-er Kimberly Thorpe why he was (and, no doubt, remains) a big fan of the department's so-called No-Refusal DWI Initiative, which allows officers who pull over suspected drunk drivers to take and test two vials' wort ... More >>
No doubt you caught at least some of The Dallas Morning News's recently wrapped three-part series on Texas's trouble with properly punishing drunken drivers. Probation instead of prison; back behind the wheel instead of behind bars. Says Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins in a missive ... More >>
We're thinking the kiddos at Pinkston High School weren't having a tough time getting high last year. (The markers are streets where drug houses were located.)Tyrone Weatherall, the 35-year-old leader of the "West Side Gator Boys," pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to possess wi ... More >>
This just in from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: The agency, along with the Office of Homeland Security Investigations National Gang Unit and an alphabet's soup worth of local law enforcement agencies, spent the last five days sweeping Dallas-Fort Worth for gang members and their a ... More >>
Sam MertenCraig WatkinsTwo months ago to the day, we told you about Dallas County Republican Party chair Jonathan Neerman's public information request for the calendar of Democratic Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins dating back to his first day in office -- January 1, 2007. Seeme ... More >>
Eleanor Mowery Sheets and husband NickyAgain, this is Candy Evans's beat -- why, just today she noted over on D's DallasDirt that the former manse of Eleanor and Nicky Sheets is selling at half off the original asking price after it failed to move at an IRS auction in February. Nevertheless, this ... More >>