Criminal Justice

Ryan E. Poppe

Sen. John Cornyn has proposed legislation that would allow some non-violent drug offenders to be considered for sentences lower than the federal mandatory sentences.  

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Update: Many listeners took issue with our guest, James Jacobs', view on both the impact of marijuana possession charges and the process of getting criminal convictions expunged in Texas. He is a national expert.  We wanted to include some local commentary from our Interim Chief Public Defender.

A misdemeanor marijuana conviction will cause your driving privileges to be suspended for 6 months, disqualify you from federally backed student loans, cause you and your family to be evicted from Section 8 (low income) housing. 

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay in tonight's scheduled execution of Scott Panetti.

ACLU of Texas

Texas Tough may be taking a back seat to Texas Smart when it comes to crime and punishment. An unlikely coalition of reformers, think tanks, and business groups are uniting under a new banner of "Smart-on-Crime" to take aim at what they say are the broken parts of our justice system. 

Eileen Pace / TPR News

The Bexar County Jail is preparing to change its inmate visiting system from face-to-face visitation to electronic encounters.

The county is investing about $4 million in the system that officials say will improve security, cut down on overtime hours for guards, and help family members visit their loved ones more often.

At the Bexar County Jail on Comal Street, hundreds of inmates have to be shuffled from housing units to special visitation areas where just 18 of them at a time can sit in a face-to-face meeting with their visitor.

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