A History of the Death Penalty

Texas Death Penalty Cases

The First Death Penalty Case The first death penalty to take place happened in 1608 in Jamestown, Virginia. The recipient of this punishment was Captain George Kendall who was executed for being a spy for Spain. Punishment by death was common in Europe at the time. Several executions took place in the various colonies in […]

Causation Must Be On The Record for Restitution in DWI Cases

Fort Worth Driving While Intoxicated

Last week, the Court of Criminal Appeals handed down a decision that changes how restitution is ordered on intoxication offenses. In Hanna v. State, the Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that restitution can be ordered in driving while intoxicated cases, laying out a two-fold requirement: the record must reflect the defendant caused the loss and the […]

Death Penalty in Texas: Hernandez-Llanas’ Execution Set Today

Death Penalty in Texas

Texas intends to execute Mexican National Ramiro Hernandez-Llanas, for murder and rape, tonight at 6 pm. Hernandez is a Mexican citizen who was convicted of beating a man to death and repeatedly raping his wife at knife point. The execution will take place in Huntsville. If the execution goes as scheduled, Hernandez would be the […]

Federal Gun Ban After State Family Violence Convictions

Tarrant County Family Violence Gun Cases

The United States Supreme Court handed down its decision in United States v. Castleman today, which addresses the federal prohibition on gun possession for individuals who have convictions for “misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence.” Disagreeing with the District Court and the Sixth Circuit, the Supreme Court ruled that a conviction for a simple domestic assault results in a federal […]

Upskirting: A Look at Massachusetts and Texas

Improper Photography in Texas

Earlier this month Massachusetts’ highest court ruled that it is not illegal to secretly photograph under a person’s clothing. ((MASSACHUSETTS COURT SAYS “UPSKIRT” PHOTOS ARE LEGAL CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/05/us/massachusetts-upskirt-photography/index.html (last visited Mar 17, 2014)) This practice is known as “upskirting” and takes place when a person tries to capture a picture up an individual’s skirt without […]

Mandatory Blood Draw Upheld Despite Error in Criminal History

After a person has been arrested for DWI, one of the ways an officer can lawfully obtain blood under Texas Transportation Code section 724.012 is when there is reliable information from a credible source that the suspect has two prior convictions for driving while intoxicated.  What constitutes “reliable information from a credible source?” Lyssy v. […]

Is Flashing (Your Headlights) Protected under the First Amendment?

Many motorists recognize that when drivers flash their headlights they need to be looking out for something. More often than not, the message behind the flashing lights is that there is a police officer conducting traffic enforcement ahead. In different areas of the country, the act of flashing your headlights to warn of an officer […]

10 Things I Learned as a Juror

Ten Things I Learned as a Juror: A Criminal Prosecutor’s Perspective on Being a Civil Juror Even though I’ve tried over one hundred jury trials as a prosecutor, I learn something new every time I try a case. As is the case with most trial attorneys, I love being in trial; it’s the one place […]