Law

Texas Public Schools
11:25 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Judge In Texas School Finance Trial Reopens Case

Travis County District Judge John Dietz (seated in right corner).
Ryan E. Poppe TPR News

Nearly a year ago Travis County District Judge John Dietz ruled that the system used to fund schools in Texas was unconstitutional, but didn’t reduce that order to writing. The same trial is once again underway but this time with different evidence to consider.

Dietz gave the Texas Legislature another chance to replace the $5.4 billion that was cut from public education funding in the 2011 session.

"It has been the consistent desire of this court to present the most up to date data to the Texas Supreme Court for their consideration," Dietz said.

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The Source - January 16, 2014
10:48 am
Thu January 16, 2014

The Source: Brain Death - Science, Ethics & Emotion

EdTech Stanford School of Medicine

Marlise Munoz was a 33-year-old paramedic from Fort Worth who was 14 weeks pregnant when a pulmonary embolism left her brain dead in November of last year. Jahi McMath was a 13-year-old Oakland teenager when complications from a tonsillectomy left her brain dead in December. It is at this point that the similarities diverge.

McMath's family is battling the hospital to keep the girl on life support, with a respirator and being fed intravenously. Doctors have been vilified in the case as unfeeling as they try to convince the family there is no chance of recovery.

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Same-Sex Marriage
9:55 am
Thu January 16, 2014

What The Ruling In Oklahoma Same-Sex Marriage Case May Mean For Texas

Attorney Neal Lane has filed an injunction on the state's ban on same-sex marriage and will be heard in federal court on Feb. 12.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

On tuesday a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Now an attorney representing one of three lawsuits filed in Texas challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage is looking at a that ruling to show how the Texas case may render the same result.

San Antonio attorney Neel Lane has filed an injunction on the Texas law and his case will be heard on Feb. 12 by Federal District Judge Orlando Garcia.

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Science & Technology
9:56 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Former Bexar Medical Examiner Tapped For Seat On National Commission On Forensic Science

A longtime medical examiner for Bexar County has been appointed to the newly-formed National Commission on Forensic Science.

The commission, which meets for the first time in February, was created last year to establish national standards to help assure the scientific value and accuracy of evidence in criminal cases and investigations.

Dr. Vincent DiMaio of San Antonio, who is now a consultant, said lawmakers and the president became interested in standardizing evidence after DNA evidence began to disprove convictions.

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Community Safety
4:05 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Feds Say Texas Syndicate Has Been "Wiped Out" In San Antonio

Flickr User: 710928003 cc

The last member of the Texas Syndicate on a 20-defendant federal indictment has been sent to prison, and federal officials say the sentencing effectively shut down the prison-based gang in San Antonio.

Of the handful of prison gangs in Texas, the TS had operated mainly in the other big cities in the state -- Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Joey Contreras in San Antonio said the government’s earlier success in getting rid of the Mexican Mafia allowed the TS to get a foothold here.

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Fronteras Desk
1:20 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Navajo Communities Face Water Poverty Crisis

Lindsay Johnson has had to conserve water most of her life. It's a happy day when the water lady fills her barrels.
Laurel Morales Fronteras

Fronteras: Most Americans use more than 100 gallons of water a day, but in Smith Lake, New Mexico, on the Navajo Nation, they use seven. As industries develop farther into remote areas, they run into conflicts with tribes who view certain sites as sacred New York City's "stop and frisk" law has been controversial because of the potential for racial profiling and in San Diego, activists say the same thing is happening.

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Same-Sex Marriage
12:11 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Challenges To Texas Same-Sex Marriage Ban Move Forward In Separate Courts

Attorney Neel Lane represents the couples challenging the Texas ban on same-sex marriage in San Antonio.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

Austin Federal District Judge Sam Sparks surprised all parties when he decided to not force two couples who filed suit in San Antonio to join two other cases challenging Texas’ constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. 

San Antonio attorney Neel Lane, who represents the San Antonio couples -- Cleo DeLeon and Nicole Dimetman, and Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss -- is pleased with Sparks' decision.

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Texas Supreme Court
11:09 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Texas Supreme Court Ruling In Online Defamation Case Could Set Precedent Statewide

Texas Supreme Court justices.
State of Texas

The Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Thursday and decide whether defamatory comments can be forcibly removed from the Internet. The suit is a first of its kind for the state’s highest court and challenges whether the Texas Constitution is sufficient for the 21st century.

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The Source - January 6, 2014
1:56 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

The Source: Prosecuting The Financial Crisis | School Safety Following Newtown

Flickr user SalFalko cc

In the first segment:

Despite several reports showing fraudulent practices during the run-up to the economic meltdown, there have been no high-profile indictments of leaders in the banking industry.

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Criminal Justice
9:43 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Study Shows Texans Support Changing How The State Punishes Drug Crimes

Rather than locking people up for non-violent drug offenses, the latest poll shows Texans favor rehab, which experts say also saves money.
Flickr User: 710928003 cc

A new poll released this week shows Texans strongly support reforming how the state punishes non-violent drug offenses. The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Effective Justice polled over 1,000 people about how Texas currently punishes non-violent drug offenders with prison time vs. drug rehab and probation.  

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