Texas was so impatient with the U.S. Food and Drug Adminsitration for withholding its execution drugs for nearly two years that it filed a lawsuit, demanding to know ASAP whether it could have its drugs back. Yesterday, the FDA got back to the state with its decision: No.
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Breakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: The teacher wouldn’t have been put in this position in the first place if it weren’t for an allegedly disgruntled ex-school-district employee who pointed the finger at her, an administrator who subjected her to drug testing even though there was zero evidence that she’d been impaired on the job, and the Texas Board for Educator Certification, which would have prevented Roland from teaching for two full years if Judge William Newchurch hadn’t rejected the punishment. Westword has the story.
A federal judge is putting the Texas prison system on trial over suffocating conditions of extreme heat due to lack of air conditioning in the summer.
Between 1998 and 2011, at least 21 inmates died of heat-related illnesses in prison, with ten of them dying in 2011 alone. And that count only includes inmates whose cause of death was specifically and solely due to the heat, not deaths in which heat was a contributing factor. In 2012, the family of a man who died of hyperthermia in the Hutchins State Jail sued the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, claiming top officials’ indifference to the inhumane conditions of the prison led to Larry McCollum’s death in 2011.
According to the judge’s order, the prison had a heat index of 150 degrees the week McCollum died.
A group of white nationalists that don’t think they’re white supremacists traipsed around the Rice University campus and placed at least four “recruitment” fliers on trees and traffic-light boxes as part of their mission to save white people from the genocide they see on the horizon.
According to Rice University police, students began reporting the fliers and chattering about them on Twitter. One flier, signed by the American Vanguard, said, “We have a right to exist” with a picture of white people’s faces, and another said “Defending your people is a social duty, not an anti-social crime” with a picture of mom and child, according to Rice spokesman B.J. Almond. Others posted at Texas universities including Texas State and the University of Texas – Dallas drew inspiration from President Donald Trump.
Civil asset forfeiture sounds reasonable enough on the outside. Police seize property belonging to people they suspect of being involved in criminal activity. (It was set up in the 1980s to help law enforcement seize drug-related items and cash.)
The thing is, here in Texas, where the law on asset forfeiture is notoriously loose, seized assets go into a civil proceeding and can be taken, whether you’ve been convicted of a crime or not.
When the 85th Biennial Texas Legislative Session convenes in January, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are going to wade into the issue once more to see if they can get some sort of civil asset forfeiture reform through the legislative process.
In the 15 years that Andy Kahan, victims’ rights advocate for the City of Houston, has closely monitored “murderabilia” from serial killers sold online, he has never seen anything for sale from convicted baby killer Genene Jones.
Then he found a Christmas card Jones had written to someone from prison, for sale on a website called truecrimeauctionhouse.com for $750.
You would think that if corrections officers wanted to talk in graphic and violent terms about the people they get paid to watch and, theoretically, take care of every day, they would do so in private.
But apparently not.
After the Texas Observer published a story about a transgender inmate appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of her lawsuit seeking gender confirmation surgery, people who self-identified on Facebook as working for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice posted the story in a group called Texas Correctional Employees – Huntsville and proceeded to make crude and violent comments about the inmate.
The lawyers who fought Texas all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court over its restrictive abortion laws are suggesting state health officials take another gander at the high court’s ruling that struck them down. They aren’t too sure Texas paid much attention to the ruling, evidenced by the new abortion regulations health officials quietly proposed shortly after losing the Supreme Court case.
State officials announced in the obscure Texas Register that they wanted to start mandating the cremation or burial of aborted or miscarried fetuses — an idea that came just four days after Texas lost Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The 5-3 Supreme Court decision prevented the state from implementing restrictive abortion regulations that were expected to shutter all but nine abortion clinics in Texas.
This week, lawyers for the Center For Reproductive Rights — which fought Texas in court — wrote in a letter to the state that these proposed rules will “almost certainly trigger costly litigation for Texas.” The lawyers’ argument mirrors the same one they used to fight Texas in the Supreme Court.
The graphic 911 calls detailing a Katy mother’s decision to kill her two daughters were released by police on Tuesday.
One was from 17-year-old Madison Sheats, who can be heard with her sister and father begging their mother, Christy Sheats, not to kill them. The other came from a neighbor across the street, who witnessed the fatal shootings after Christy chased her family out the door and killed her two daughters, Madison and 22-year-old Taylor Sheats, in the middle of the street. Their father, Jason, ran to the end of the cul-de-sac and was uninjured.
The first call from Madison is nearly inaudible, full of shrill screams, just after Christy pulled out the gun in a family meeting in the living room. Intermittently, voices can be heard begging, “Please don’t shoot us” and, “Please don’t point the gun at her,” and “Please forgive me—I’m sorry.” Toward the end, 45-year-old Jason pleads, “I promise you, whatever you want, I—” before another scream cuts him out.
For more, read the Houston Press’ full story about the tragedy.
Virtually everyone agrees – from defense attorneys to legal scholars to appellate court judges – that a cop violates your constitutional right against an unreasonable search if he or she escalates a traffic stop into a roadside vaginal or anal probe.
It’s unclear, then, why the Harris County Sheriff’s Office has defended its deputies’ actions in the case of Charneshia Corley, who was pulled over for allegedly rolling through a stop sign near the corner of Ella and Barren Springs. According to Corley’s attorney, “The deputies slammed this 21-year-old girl facedown on the ground and got on top of her. The deputy grabbed her pants, pulled her pants down all the way past her ankles, while officers held her legs. Then one of them stuck her fingers up inside her.”