Criminal Justice

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay in tonight's scheduled execution of Scott Panetti.

ACLU of Texas

Texas Tough may be taking a back seat to Texas Smart when it comes to crime and punishment. An unlikely coalition of reformers, think tanks, and business groups are uniting under a new banner of "Smart-on-Crime" to take aim at what they say are the broken parts of our justice system. 

Eileen Pace / TPR News

The Bexar County Jail is preparing to change its inmate visiting system from face-to-face visitation to electronic encounters.

The county is investing about $4 million in the system that officials say will improve security, cut down on overtime hours for guards, and help family members visit their loved ones more often.

At the Bexar County Jail on Comal Street, hundreds of inmates have to be shuffled from housing units to special visitation areas where just 18 of them at a time can sit in a face-to-face meeting with their visitor.

courtesy michael-morton.com / ©

The now famous case of Michael Morton looms over Texas law, law enforcement, and legal procedure. 

Convicted of murdering his wife, Morton was sentenced to life in prison in 1987, but would later be completely exonerated fro the crime. It is a cautionary reminder of what happens when overzealous law officials and prosecutors decide the facts of a crime rather than investigate it. 

Flickr user SalFalko / cc

The troubling decline of jury trials affects both state and federal court rooms. Forced arbitration, tort reform, and sky rocketing court costs are changing how we administer law, but what affect does it have on this Constitutional mandate?

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