A federal appeals court judge underwent an incredibly rare ethics investigation, and came out the other side unscathed. After initially clearing Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Jones of any misconduct in August, the judicial counsel at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals rejected an appeal to that r ... More >>
Country music has an interesting relationship with current events. Unlike other forms of pop that deal with one form of fantasy or another -- starlets forever falling in love with that guy who is just out of reach; aspiring rappers' dreams of a ghetto-fabulous lifestyle, for example -- country draw ... More >>
Texas' Voter ID law -- which requires that voters show election officials an approved and up-to-date photo ID in order to cast a ballot -- has long been a point of contention. Since the Lege passed a voter ID requirement in 2011, many of its opponents have questioned whether the law unfairly singles ... More >>
The past several years of Greg Abbott's political career have been one long, drawn-out pissing match with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For an avowed tort-reformer, our Attorney General-turned GOP candidate for governor sure loves a good lawsuit when the feds are in the crosshairs, famou ... More >>
Rick Perry's employment agency and McCutcheon simplified.
The George W. Bush DOJ went after voter fraud hard. It became a mantra in right-wing talking circles that voter fraud was rampant, perhaps swinging elections. The problem with this narrative was that there simply wasn't much evidence to support it. Undeterred by the lack of evidence, right-wing acti ... More >>
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has denied Duane Buck's appeal for a new sentencing, meaning an execution date can be set if the Harris County District Attorney's Office chooses to seek an execution date. Buck was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 1997 for the murders of his ex-girlfrie ... More >>
The answer to the question in the headline, according to gay activist Ray Hill, is a resounding "yes." Here's the deal: A Houston Police Department spokesperson told Hair Balls that officers conducted a "proactive investigation" at Memorial Park last week, in which seven men were arrested and char ... More >>
During Duane Buck's 1997 murder trial in Harris County, a psychologist told the jury that Buck was more likely to be a danger to society because he was black. This would be a huge deal in pretty much any legal situation, but the statement had more direct life or death ramifications in Buck's trial ... More >>
Ashley Nicole Richards, who filmed herself torturing and killing kittens, puppies, cats and dogs, was the first person brought up on revised federal crush-video charges -- which backfired magnificently.
In December 2012, two Houstonians became the first defendants charged under the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, which criminalizes the production and distribution of images of animal cruelty. Ashley Nicole Richards and Brent Wayne Justice were originally charged in Harris County Distric ... More >>
Prisoner Genovevo Salinas' silence during an early interrogation for a double-murder at a Houston apartment complex back in 1992 will be the subject of arguments before the US Supreme Court on Wednesday. Salinas is serving out a 20-year sentence for the shooting deaths of brothers Juan and Hector ... More >>
The Texas Supreme Court building is the largest Confederate memorial in the world. Kirk Lyons, a lawyer with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, wants me to know this. He says it, repeats it. At the beginning of the conversation. In the middle. At the end, twice. "That building is still the largest C ... More >>
The Texas GOP's lengthy effort to create redistricting maps that federal judges say don't discriminate against minorities hit another snag today when a three-judge panel in D.C. threw out the latest plan. The judges said the proposed maps failed to meet fairness standards using various tests and an ... More >>
When I was a student in Italy in my early twenties, I ate twice a day in a university cafeteria, where 3,000 lire (roughly $2) got you a pasta or rice first course (usually topped with tomato sauce or tomato and meat sauce), a second course of fish or meat with a side of vegetables, a piece of bread ... More >>
One of the greatest stories I ever worked on involved neo-Nazis and burritos.
America's peculiar war on Mexicans has gone too far, says this week's cover package from Village Voice Media. A hostile Supreme Court and a feckless Obama administration have resulted in abominations like Arizona's Senate Bill 1070, which gives cops all but carte blanche to question the immigration ... More >>
"I fantasize sometimes that my musical career would hit gold and help us escape these grim realities, but it's not something I really expect to happen." There are few issues in the current political climate more fraught with contention than whether or not the U.S. government will take a more ... More >>
Faith Hill shall not be deniedFive record labels that sued a 16-year-old San Antonio girl six years ago for illegally downloading a bunch of shitty music the labels vomited upon the listening public can finally exhale: the U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to hear the girl's ... More >>
Mike Myers will probably go down in history as the most uncomfortable white guy next to a black guy in TV history, thanks to Kanye West's unscripted outburst during that infamous Hurricane Katrina telethon. It began with Myers reading his part of the script verbatim. Two-thirds into the PSA, ... More >>
Friedrich Glorian via FlickrIt's a Google-rific society we be a-living in, and the fastest way to notoriety is to coin a phrase that, when Guantanamo Bayed safely between quotation marks in a search field, will bring up endless debate upon your win or fail. We have been blessed with some rea ... More >>
Before the Edmund Fitzgerald went down with all hands, inspiring Gordon Lightfoot's famous ballad, there was another wreck and another song. In 1903, The Southern Railway had a deal with the United States Postal Service for mail delivery. One of the trains involved in the mail haul was The Fast M ... More >>
Two-thirds of those polled knew who this guy was?The latest UT/Texas Tribune poll shows some stuff to give Democrats hope (Rick Perry polling at his usual 39 percent, etc.), but there are also some interesting things in the throw-away questions on the survey.UT/TT polled 800 registered voters, an ... More >>
No Elena Kagan hearings for KPFT listenersPacifica station KPFT-FM has been knocked off the air and may not be able to broadcast over the airwaves until tomorrow because of damage to its radio tower.Don't blame the KKK this time. Blame copper thieves.A group of what KPFT general manager Duane Bra ... More >>
Today is the big day before the U.S. Supreme Court for Jeff Skilling, former Enron exec, former Manhattan party animal, current federal inmate.Among other things, Skilling's lawyers are arguing that his federal trial should have been moved from Houston because we all were so affected by Enron tha ... More >>
The odd case of Charles Dean Hood has been a subject of talk for a while. He was convicted of killing a Plano couple -- there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of doubt about it -- but he's got a unique appellate argument: The judge and his prosecutor had been lovers.Back in our cub-reporting days, ... More >>
We've bailed out the banks. When do we go after the crooks behind our financial collapse?
In the court of law, it never really mattered whether Roland Carnaby was a spy, as he claimed just before police gunned him down along the highway following a high-speed chase. After all, his widow, Susan, was suing the City of Houston and a pair of its police officers in federal court for excess ... More >>
Gays, lesbians, transgenders, bisexuals, transsexuals and their friends will be marching in the 2009 Houston Pride parade Saturday night (this year's theme is "Out for Justice").To add to the festivities, we thought we'd recap some of the highlights of Houston's GLBT history. 1958: Ray Hill came ou ... More >>
Sharon Keller, chief justice of the state's highest criminal court, has filed her response to charges that she refused to keep the office open for an hour to accept an appeal on behalf of a guy being executed that night.Essentially, none of it's her fault, and the guy was guilty anyway.The Houston C ... More >>
As America prepares to close the infamous camp, what about those prisoners?
With the Christmas season lingering, there's one fellow who's been left out of the merriment and good tidings. A certain fellow with horns and a pitchfork. And he seems to be doing whatever he can to snatch a bit of the spotlight, as evidenced in an exorcism lawsuit that might be reviewed by the U.S ... More >>
We first broke the news in October; the Houston Chronicle noticed it earlier this month, and now Time magazine has discovered it: There will be no one sent to Death Row from Harris County this year.Which, in historical terms, is kind of like saying Texas high schools will not be sending anyone to bi ... More >>
Some of you nervously awaiting the presidential election are lying fetal, with some type of bottle in your mouth (Dems, most likely); some of you are side-swiping every car you see with an opposing candidate’s bumper sticker (Reps, you betcha). But I’m here to tell ya: You’re not going to be ... More >>
Texans like the right to vote for their State Supreme Court judges, even though they know nothing about them, their judicial philosophies, or even who they are. That’s according to a statewide poll released earlier today by the staunchly conservative Federalist Society. Out of 700 people polled, ... More >>
Our solution for saving Texas's claim to capital punishment fame
There's not much difference between a bounty hunter and a cop, save for a lot of regulation and a little respect
Creditors of an estate debt try to collect from a councilmember and the former U.S. solicitor general
The D.A. shares something with those he's supposed to be probing: campaign support
The Supreme Court's sodomy decision
Rod Paige does no better when he doesn't have an answer than when he does
The same extreme measures that saved Sidney Miller at birth also severely disabled her 11 years ago. Texas courts are still trying to determine who should pay for it -- and could set a legal precedent in the process.
Once burdened by debt and internal politics, a rejuvenated Texas ACLU is back mixing it up with those who dare to trample on the U. S. Constitution.
The media makes causes of more and more capital murder convicts. Meanwhile, John Albert Burks dies almost unnoticed, just another inmate moving along on the efficient execution assembly line of Texas justice.
Quanell comes on strong at Graham's execution, then vanishes
Will naturalists rid the wetlands of a wily immigrant's sex clubs?