There's A Petition To Have The Dallas Judge Who Said That A 14-Year-Old Rape Victim "Wasn't The Victim She Claimed To Be" Removed From Office

Twenty-year-old Sir Young pled guilty to the 2011 rape of a 14-year-old girl, but a lot of what happened in his case was strange: especially his sentence. In April, State District Judge Jeanine Howard opted to put Young on probation, ordering him to perform 250 hours of community service at a rape crisis center and to spend 45 days in jail, but exempted him from some of the probation conditions that sex offenders typically face.

I’ve argued in this space in the past that I’d prefer to see both jail as a sentence and sex offender registration utilized cautiously, but it also seems as though caution should be used when ordering a convicted rapist to spend 250 hours in a facility intended to make rape survivors feel safe. But it became clear after Howard spoke to the media that her idea of who the real victim was in the incident between Young and the young teenager he was convicted of raping wasn’t necessarily the girl. As the Dallas Morning News reports

Wyly Like a Fox

From the witness stand, Sam Wyly didn’t look like a man who could upend the way the federal government prosecutes white-collar crime. The 79-year-old Dallas billionaire cupped his hand behind his ear to hear his lawyer’s questions. He admitted repeatedly to confusion about some of the key business transactions that had made him a billionaire. “I sometimes get it garbled in my mind,” he said when asked by the judge about inconsistencies in his testimony.

A Grand Jury Indicted A Retired Austin Police Detective For Killing An Unarmed Black Man In The Line Of Duty

The story of Larry Jackson, Jr., a black Austin resident who was shot and killed by APD Detective Charles Kleinert last summer, moved one step closer to resolution this week: After a full investigation, a grand jury issued an indictment for Kleinert on the charge of manslaughter. 

This is notable news in a city that has seen dozens of investigations of APD shootings in recent years, but has not seen an indictment of an officer since the 2003 shooting death of Jessie Lee Owens led to a charge of negligent homicide (and, later, a dismissal) for APD officer Scott Glasgow. 

Open Carry Advocates Scared the Sourdough Out of a Bunch of Jack in the Box Employees

Stop us if this sounds familiar: An armed group in a Texas city, semi-automatic rifles strapped across their backs, descended on a place where you don’t typically see a bunch of large guns, scaring the hell out of the people who caught a glimpse of them. It’s no wonder that some people thought that perhaps the armed group might be up to no good—only to learn that the group was just exercising their right to carry a long-arm firearm openly in public in the state of Texas. 

This latest example of the growing trend occurred at a Fort Worth Jack In The Box location. As NBC DFW reports

Do Texas Cities Need Rideshare Services Like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar?

Getting around in Texas cities without driving your own car is a challenge. That part isn’t really in dispute: even in cities that have good public transportation infrastructure (i.e., trains, comprehensive bus routes) don’t meet all of the consumer needs. Trains only reach certain parts of the area, and buses don’t run 24 hours. 

In Texas cities, where transportation infrastructure is often a problem to begin with, Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and others are particularly tantalizing prospects. These companies offer a solution that’s worked in other cities around the country. But that solution, in Texas as elsewhere, raises an issue: are these services taxis, limos, or something else entirely? And depending on the answer to that question, are they legal? 

A Horrific Cycling Hit-and-Run in the Valley

Eddie Arguelles was a popular staffer at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg who rode his bike with a group called “5 AM Wakeup Ride” most mornings. Last Thursday, though, the 38-year-old was struck and killed by a drunk driver in the early morning hours on April 17th. 

Because of the way that social media accounts document emergencies in real-time, it’s possible to reconstruct the day that Arguelles died to some extent. On his cycling group’s Facebook page, you can see the panicked post on the morning of his death, illustrated by a photo of his broken bike reading, “Eddie Arguelles was hit by a car. Not good cant find him. Pd is out looking for eddie a.” 

The Young Man Who Peed on the Alamo Is Going to Spend 18 Months in a State Jail

There’s an old adage in Texas criminal justice reform that’s become downright apocryphal: It goes that jailtime should be reserved for the criminals we’re “scared of, not the ones we’re mad at.” In the case of 23-year-old Daniel Athens, who will be spending a full year and a half in a State Jail facility for peeing on the Alamo, we can probably downgrade that to “seriously annoyed with.” 

To be certain, peeing on the Alamo is not okay. We wholeheartedly oppose the idea that the side of the Alamo is an appropriate place to relieve oneself, whether you are a regular 23-year-old or the lead singer of Black Sabbath. You will find no one among us who would endorse this action. 

Open Carry Advocates Rallied After a Man Was Tased By Police For Carrying a Long-Arm Rifle

In late March, nineteen-year-old Henry Vichique was stopped by police while walking down the street with his rifle over his shoulder. The stop—the full details of which are clear, as Vichique recorded the entire encounter and put it on YouTube—involved the teenager behaving very politely as a pair of San Antonio police officers asked him to relinquish his gun. Vichique says “sir” a lot and insists that “I’m not doing anything wrong,” while one of the two officers tells him that neighbors had complained that Vichique had been pointing his rifle at people. Vichique, who says that he has video evidence that he was not doing that, asks if he’s free to go, and the officer tells him that he is free to walk home, and the police will happen to drive alongside him as he does so.

The encounter turns ugly when the second officer starts telling Vichique that “we’re going to take that gun.” When Vichique insists again that he’s not breaking the law, the officer uses his taser to bring him down, at which point he’s arrested. 

A Special Prosecutor Is Investigating Governor Perry's Decision To Cut Funding To The Public Integrity Unit

There are few defenders of Rosemary Lehmberg, the embattled Travis County District Attorney who embarrassed her office after she was stopped, arrested, and jailed for DWI last April. The night of Lehmberg’s arrest has been well-documented, and her “do you know who I am” routine did not speak well of an official tasked with enforcing the law. (At the same time, that her treatment in the criminal justice system—which included a rare jail sentence for a first-time DWI in Travis County—seemed to offer her no undue leniency because of her position speaks well of her office.)

Many called for Lehmberg to resign after her arrest; some attempted to have her removed from office; and Governor Perry used his veto power to attempt to force her out—by threatening to strip the budget of the state-funded Travis County Public Integrity Unit, which Lehmberg, as DA, oversees, and which investigates allegations of public corruption in Texas. Created by the legislature in the 1980s, the Travis County Public Integrity Unit was given the authority to investigate statewide officals because the legislature and major offices of state government are based there.

Questions Remain About Texas' Pentobarbital Supply

The questions surrounding Texas’ supply of Pentobarbital—the drug the state uses to carry out executions, of which it recently acquired a new supply of unknown provenance—have only deepened over the past couple weeks. Namely, the prisoners who face execution in Texas are seeking relief in the courts to learn exactly where the drug that will be injected into their veins came from. The state’s Department of Criminal Justice, meanwhile, seeks to protect the identity of the drug’s providers, citing “specific threats” against the previous compounding pharmacy it had contracted to make them a batch of the drug.

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