joshuaCourtesy of the Rondons

A part of Amelia Rondon almost did not want to attend her son’s detention hearing, held three days before Christmas. She had been told that her 15-year-old son Joshua, who had been charged with nonviolent misdemeanors, would probably be able to go home, especially because it was Christmastime.

But Amelia didn’t want to get her son’s hopes up — or even her own. Two weeks earlier, Judge Glenn Devlin had denied her son’s release, and she was afraid nothing would change.

It turns out she was correct.

Despite a recommendation from Joshua’s probation officer that he be released — and despite the fact that national best practices in the juvenile justice system are to keep nonviolent kids out of detention — Joshua will be spending Christmas and the first days of the new year cooped up in an overcrowded juvenile detention center. And advocates are calling foul.

taylor-swift-2013-2-croppedBreakfast reading from the Voice Media Empire: Mueller sued superstar Swift for getting him fired from his high-dollar morning-drive gig for touching her inappropriately while posing for a photograph with her — something he swears he didn’t do. She counter-sued, and in a portion of her deposition, she makes it clear that she believes Mueller put his hands where they didn’t belong. Westword has the story.

capitold_1024Photo from the Texas Legislature

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.

fullsizer_6_After receiving concerning phone calls from three crime victims, District Attorney-elect Kim Ogg made some weighty allegations at a press conference outside the criminal courthouse on Tuesday morning.

Each crime victim’s case had belonged to prosecutors Ogg had recently fired, and the crime victims, Ogg said, had expressed uncertainty and confusion about their cases and were afraid they would not be handled properly going forward. So on Tuesday, Ogg suggested the prosecutors had made the phone calls to the victims or their families to intentionally provide misinformation about the cases to undermine her new administration, then directed them to complain to Ogg about it. Ogg said they were “sabotaging” the cases for political purposes.

Problem: she had not bothered to call any of them to ask for their side of the story.

img_0210_1_In a rare move, District Attorney Devon Anderson intervened in a misdemeanor case to personally dismiss a DWI charge against prominent Houston defense attorney Tony Buzbee, the Houston Press discovered Monday morning.

In a statement to the Press, Anderson said the reason she decided to dismiss the case was that it was “the right thing to do.”

“He qualified for pre-trial intervention and completed all of the requirements typically mandated for a first offender DWI defendant,” Anderson said. “He did not contribute to my campaign in 2016 cycle.”

Yet even though Anderson’s own DWI diversion program requirements state that it is a one-year program, the case was dismissed after only eight months. 

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