Law

Law
11:17 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Grand Jury Named In Perry Coercion Trial

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Bert Richardson from San Antonio has helped select 12 jurors in Travis County and two alternates to preside over a special grand jury tasked with determining whether to indict Gov. Rick Perry on criminal charges. 

Perry threatened to veto the $7.5 million budget for the state’s public integrity unit if Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg did not resign from her position following a drunk driving conviction in fall 2013. Lehmberg's office heads the public integrity unit, which investigates state agencies.

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Same-Sex Marriage
3:01 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Attorney In Texas Same-Sex Marriage Challenge Looks For Signs In Utah Case

*States in purple have made same-sex marriage legal, states marked in yellow have bans against such marriages and states marked in green represent new developments or legal proceedings working through federal court.
Chris Eudaily TPR News

Late last week attorneys for same-sex couples and the State of Utah delivered oral arguments in the case challenging a Utah law that bans same-sex marriage.

Here in Texas, San Antonio attorney Neel Lane, who represents two couples challenging the Texas ban on same-sex marriage, watched the proceedings and said one of the turning points was a concession made by the Utah attorney general’s office.

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Criminal Justice
3:59 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Update: Texas Execution Back On Schedule, US 5th Circuit Reverses Lower Court Ruling

Update (4/3): In a last-minute decision Wednesday night, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the lower federal district court's decision to halt the execution of death row inmate Tommy Sells, who is scheduled to die today, Thursday, April 3.

The execution had been halted pending a privacy-disclosure case involving the pharmacy manufacturing the drugs being used in the execution. Sells' attorney says she will be taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Texas Matters
12:54 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

What Will We Learn From New Transparency In Privately-Run Texas State Jails?

Flickr User: 710928003 cc

Texas Matters: A court has ruled that privately-run jails are, in effect, governmental bodies when it comes to Texas open records law, so what will be uncovered from the new level of transparency that these institutions must follow? Will the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association be ready to pay out in the event of a destructive hurricane? Also on this show: Whooping crane populations along the coast and a new ocelot kitten in South Texas.

Privately-run jails must now open up records

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Criminal Justice
12:14 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Texas’ Highest Criminal Court Hears First Case Using New "Junk Science" Law

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals heard oral arguments this week in a case of a man convicted of murdering a toddler. The attorneys for Neal Robbins used a new law that allows for a new trial if the forensic science used to convict them is discredited and out-of-date.

Robbins was convicted of killing a 17 month old in Houston in 1999 and in 2007 the medical examiner changed her opinion. Since then the Texas Legislature passed a new law that allows someone convicted to petition for a new trial if the forensic science methods used to in their case is suddenly discredited. 

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Courts
4:23 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Texas Highest Criminal Court Will Take Up Political Corruption Case Involving Tom DeLay

Former U.S. House Minority Leader Tom Delay.
U.S. Government File Photo

The highest criminal court in the State of Texas has agreed to take up the political corruption case against former U.S. House Minority Leader Tom Delay. The decision comes after Delay was acquitted by a lower appellate court in September 2013.

The case against Delay, known to many as "The Hammer," has been making its way through the courts for the last 12 years. Delay was convicted in 2010 of money laundering for trying to influence Texas’ elections by funneling corporate money to various candidates.

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The Source - March 19, 2014
1:23 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

The Source: Bad Science Law Goes To Court

Flickr user SalFalko

  A law allowing those convicted of a crime with bad science sees its greatest challenge in the courtroom. Today the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals hears arguments in the case of Neal Robbins, who was convicted in 1999 of murdering a 17-month-old child. 
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Law
8:58 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Defense Attorney Admits Bribing State District Judge

www.flickr.com/photos/safari_vacation/
Flickr user SalFalko

A San Antonio attorney has pled guilty to charges of bribing a state district criminal court judge.

Criminal defense attorney Alberto Acevedo, Jr., pled guilty in federal court Monday to improperly influencing a Texas State Court Judge. According to reports, Acevedo was charged with bribing Judge Angus McGinty by giving him cash, paying for repairs on the judge’s personal vehicle, and arranging the sale of a vehicle belonging to the judge.

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Bag Bans
2:17 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Texas Environmental Groups Take Issue With Lawmaker Request For AG Opinion On Bag Bans

An environmental group says a trade association fighting plastic bag bans in Texas is attempting to use legal and judicial activism to prevail where their previous lawsuit regarding the issue failed.

The Texas Campaign for the Environment saidno harm has come to businesses in cities with bag bans.

Late last week, state Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Canton, filed for an opinion from Texas attorney general's office on behalf of the Texas Retailer’s Association regarding the legality of city’s bans on plastic shopping bags.  

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The Source - March 4, 2014
11:44 am
Tue March 4, 2014

The Source: The Year In Hate

Hate group numbers have fallen for two consecutive years from record levels in 2011.
Southern Poverty Law Center

Update (3:38 p.m.): We apologize for the change in programming but we were unable to get Mark Potok, the guest for this segment, on the line and we have returned to "All Things Considered" for the second half of "The Source"

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