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Senate passes bill to create lineup policies

Posted on March 17th, 2011 No Comments

Yesterday, members of the Senate voted 30-0 to pass a bill that would create policies for police departments in Texas concerning how to conduct a criminal lineup.  The bill will now go on to the House to be considered.

The bill, created by Senator Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, would create written policies concerning both photo identification lineups and live lineups.  If approved, experts at Sam Houston State University will work together with several police departments in Texas to determine the best policies for instructions given to witnesses before viewing lineups, how to handle non-English speaking witnesses or suspects in lineups, ensuring that the lineup administrator does not know which individual is the suspect, and documentation of statements from witnesses.

Only about 12 percent of Texas law enforcement agencies currently have policies written concerning how to conduct lineups.  “Eyewitness reform is a very simple, straightforward change to help create a smarter, more just system,” said Ellis.

If you or someone you know has been wrongfully charged with a crime and would like to have the charges removed from your record, contact the Houston expunction attorneys of Johnson, Johnson & Baer, P.C. at 713-523-0404 to speak with a compassionate criminal defense attorney about expunction in Houston.

Legislators discuss releasing some nonviolent prisoners

Posted on March 2nd, 2011 No Comments

During the new legislative session, members of the Texas Congress have had to consider several ways to make up for the state’s budget deficit of $15 billion.  One way legislators have come up with is to release some nonviolent prisoners from the state’s jails.  Individuals most likely to be released would be nonviolent immigrants being held on parole and old or sick inmates.

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, there are approximately 12,000 foreign nationals being held in state prisons.  In addition, the department says that around 3,000 of those being held are held for nonviolent drug crimes, are on parole and would most likely be deported after release.

Legislators expect that releasing nonviolent prisoners could save the state $54 million annually.

If you or someone you know has a criminal charge on their record that they would like to have removed, contact the Houston expunction and nondisclosure attorneys of Johnson, Johnson & Baer P.C. at 713-523-0404 to learn more about your rights.