AMERICA-BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING

Promoting Fear of Muslim Terror Government Continues Invasion into Privacy, Civil Rights

By: Houston Criminal Lawyer John Floyd and Paralegal Billy Sinclair

Did you know that the nation’s Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has given $31 billion in grants, including $3.8 billion in 2010 alone, to state and local governments to find and protect Americans from terrorists?

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TEXAS COMMUNITY SUPERVISION REVISITED

Legislative Rush to Punish “Sex” Offenders Removes Punishment Alternatives, Probation, Unnecessarily Increases Prison Overcrowding

By: Houston Criminal Lawyer John Floyd and Paralegal Billy Sinclair

In 2008 we posted a piece about the restrictions the Texas Legislature had placed on the availability of probation. Historically probation was an alternative to penal incarceration designed to give first offenders and minor offenders a second chance.

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DEFENDING AGAINST JUROR BIAS IN SEX CRIMES

Voir Dire, Inability to Consider Full Range of Punishment: Proper Objection and Practice to Preserve Error for Appeal

By: Houston Criminal Lawyer John Floyd and Paralegal Billy Sinclair

Sex offenses involving children are beyond a doubt the most difficult to defend, particularly when the allegations appear compelling and the witnesses are believable (here, here, and here). These kinds of sexual assault allegations are easy to indict and even easier to prosecute. All the prosecution needs is the victim’s testimony to secure and sustain a conviction. These offenses are difficult to defend because potential jurors enter the trial setting with a predisposed bias against anyone charged with a sex offense against a child. While the defense counsel tries to exclude these biased jurors from the jury, either through peremptory challenges or challenges for cause, too many effectively conceal their bias in order to serve and convict. These jurors want to be part of a process that convicts the insidious “child molester.”

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THE TEXAS DEATH PENALTY SYSTEM BROKEN

Nationally Recognized Experts, Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Cite Risk of Innocents Being Put to Death, State of Texas Replies “No Comment”

By: Houston Criminal Lawyer John Floyd and Paralegal Billy Sinclair

That question could reasonably be asked of any state that maintains the death penalty. Every system of punishment is cracked in one way or another. The fact that 138 condemned inmates in 26 death penalty states have been exonerated since 1973, and the fact that there have been 261 DNA exonerations in this country since 1989, and the fact that our law books are filled with reversals of criminal convictions and death sentences offers compelling evidence that our entire criminal justice system, and, in particular, our death penalty systems is if not broken, certainly flawed. Earlier this year Harris County Criminal District Court Judge Kevin Fine stirred considerable legal and political controversy when he declared from the bench that Texas’ death penalty procedures were unconstitutional. The backlash was so intense, from the state’s attorney general to its governor, that Judge Fine clarified his ruling the next day by saying he had not actually declared the death penalty process unconstitutional and ordered attorneys in the case to submit additional legal arguments detailing how the process was so flawed that it violated the “cruel and unusual punishment” provisions of the Eighth Amendment.

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