Editors’ note: A story in our September issue about indigent defense in Texas (“No Defense,” by Neena Satija) stated that a criminal investigation of defense attorney Ray Espersen by the Travis County District Attorney’s office was still pending. In fact, the investigation has been closed. The DA’s office reports that the case was marked as pending due to a clerical error. The story also stated that Travis County judges resisted expansion of the county public defender’s office. In fact, the judges supported a blended system that would retain the managed assigned counsel system and expand the public defender’s office. Since the article was published, the Texas Indigent Defense Commission awarded Travis County a four-year, $20.1 million grant to overhaul its public defender’s office and expand its managed assigned counsel program.
As an evangelical for over seventy years, I am afraid that we are losing the moral high ground that we have been proudly claiming for years. After reading the excellent article about Dr. Robert Jeffress [“The Pastor and the President,” August 2019], I am even more concerned. I give Jeffress credit for the strength of his convictions, but I think his reasoning is faulty. He states that he supports the president’s policies, not his behavior. I do not think that they are separate. I wonder how the majority of the president’s evangelical base would take to the actions of their children if they adopted the same behavior as the president? Regardless, thank you for the article. Perhaps it will cause some thinking among evangelicals.
Ernest Walkington, Fort Worth
The Fateful Ates
Michael Hall provided a comprehensive review of the sad saga of Edward Ates [“Crowdsourcing Justice,” August 2019]. Too bad the criminal justice system didn’t do its job first, instead of relying on jailhouse informants and junk science. Thank you for caring about individuals whose lives are ruined by the need to close a case. And thanks for allowing enough space for this story to be told.
Terri LeClercq, Austin
Glourious Last Words
When I picked up my Texas Monthly this month, tears instantly sprang to my eyes as I read of Don Graham’s passing [From the Editor, August 2019]. Graham was such a vital part of the Texas literature scene and a major influence in my decision to pursue an English degree in college and focus on Texas literature. Each year, I have my students read excerpts from his anthology Lone Star Literature, and I hope that his wife and family find comfort in the fact that his legacy will continue to live on through the next generation of Texan readers and writers.
Ashleigh Scott, Conroe
If anyone ever dies and there’s reason to write a memorial, John Spong should write it [“Farewell, Friend,” August 2019]. What a wonderful tribute to [Bill Wittliff], a man who did so much for so long for so many.
Charlie Moon, Blackwell, Oklahoma