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SXSW Saturday Showcases
Music Story  March 15, 2013
"...Led by the Marked Men's Jeff Burke, the Japan-based the Novice keeps its Denton parent's faith with intensely performed but melodically solvent garage punk. Rooted in the Lone Star State, Parquet Courts calls NYC home, though the rattling, melodic post-punk found on its acclaimed debut Light Up Gold would be at home anywhere..."

From Decriminalizing Pot to Banishing Junk Science
The Lege considers a host of criminal justice bills
News Story  March 15, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"...Even more important, the Senate committee was scheduled to take up Whitmire's SB 344, which would allow for appeals of criminal convictions that were based on junk or outdated scientific evidence – from discredited and junky dog-scent lineup evidence to the outdated trifecta of symptoms once considered the hallmark of so-called shaken baby syndrome. The bill would ensure that courts could grant a defendant relief based on relevant scientific evidence not available at the time the person was convicted..."

After A Fashion: Texas Film
Spiff it up, slacker, and you might make Your Style Avatar's 'Seen at SX' list
Columns  March 15, 2013, by Stephen MacMillan Moser
"...RECOS Parquet Courts, the Brooklyn punk rockers; Earl Sweatshirt, rapper, songwriter, producer, and member of the Los Angeles based hip-hop collective Odd Future; Omar Souleyman, an Arab musician who performs traditional Middle Eastern songs in Kurdish and Arabic; Academik 2013 Showcase at Lanai Austin; LL Cool J at the Doritos party; Boots Riley; Charles Bradley; Divine Fits; Flaming Lips; Rhye; RxSM Self-Medicated Film Expo; and the documentary We Cause Scenes...."

From Decriminalizing Pot to Banishing Junk Science
Host of criminal justice bills in committee today
DAILY News  March 12, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"...Even more important, the Senate committee will be taking up Whitmire's SB 344, which would allow for appeals of criminal convictions that were based on junk or outdated scientific evidence – from discredited and junky dog-scent lineup evidence to the outdated trifecta of symptoms once considered the hallmark of so-called shaken baby syndrome. The bill would ensure that courts could grant a defendant relief based on relevant scientific evidence not available at the time the person was convicted...."

Rooting Out the Causes of Wrongful Conviction
Commission would investigate wrongful convictions
DAILY News  March 8, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"...At issue in part is that there is no one group or body currently tasked with identifying the causes of wrongful conviction, testified Kathryn Kase, executive director of the Texas Defender Service. Appellate courts can only address issues brought to them, for example, and only in cases that are appealed..."

Death Watch: Fifth Circuit Spanks CCA, Prosecutors
Appeals court reverses death penalty
News Story  March 8, 2013, by Jordan Smith


Chaos in Tejas Gets Mobb Deep
Havok and Prodigy to perform "The Infamous" and more bands added
DAILY Music  February 25, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...Here's the complete list of announced bands (today's additions in bold) Abigail (Japan) Absu Akitsa (Canada) Andy Stott (England) Anhedonist Back to Back The Bats (New Zealand) Benediction (England) Blank Realm (Australia) Blotter Body of Light Bolt Thrower Cold World Condition Criaturas Criminal Damage Cruciamentum (England) the Damned (England) Destruction Unit Effluxus Eternal Champion Final Conflict (Ashes to Ashes line up) Forward (Japan) Framtid (Japan) Full of Hell Gag Gehenna Grouper Hoax Iceage (Denmark) Impalers Infernoh (Sweden) Infest Inservibles (Mexico) Integrity Iron Lung Jessica Pratt Joyce Manor Kill The Client Kromosom (Australia) Left for Dead Long Knife Lotus Fucker Low Culture Lower (Denmark) Lust for Youth (Sweden) Magic Circle Mammoth Grinder Manilla Road Marching Church (Denmark) The Marked Men Marshstepper The Men Merchandise Milk Music Mind Eraser The Mind Spiders Mitochondrion (Canada) Mobb Deep (performing The Infamous) Nasa Space Universe Neo Cons Night Birds Nomad the Novice (Japan/Texas) No Statik Palm (Japan) Parquet Courts Pharmakon Pinkish Black Power Trip Rampage The Rats Replica Rival Mob Rotten Sound (Finland) Sad Boys Satan's Satyrs Screaming Females Sete Star Sept (Japan) S.H.I.T. (Canada) Speedwolf Stab (England) Step Forward Strange Factory (Japan) Sudor (Spain) Terveet Kadet (Finland) Total Control (Australia) Tragedy True Widow UV Race (Australia) Vaginors (Australia) Vaaska Vassafor Violent End Violent Future (Canada) Waxahatchee Who Killed Spikey Jacket? Wiccans World War 4 Wrathprayer (Chile)..."

Speed Bump on the Rocket Docket
False-positive field tests derail drug prosecutions
News Story  February 22, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"...At least that's how it was until Jan­u­ary, said District Attorney Rosemary Lehm­berg, when prosecutors realized that since August 2012 there had been an unprecedented string of 12 false-positive field tests in rocket-docket cases. Since then, she's conferred with the courts and with Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo before ultimately deciding to slow the docket and not accept any pleas until after a final drug test has been reported back from the APD's lab..."

Day Trips
Ghost town a reminder of Texas' industrial history
Columns  February 22, 2013, by Gerald E. McLeod
"...For information, go to www.tarleton.edu/gordoncenter, or call 254/968-1886. On the second Saturday of April, the Thurber Historical Association sponsors a tournament on the old bocce ball courts...."

Where's Your Evidence?
Advances in forensic science have made physical evidence increasingly crucial in criminal justice – but the practice of preserving and maintaining that evidence is often underfunded, poorly managed, or just plain sloppy
News Story  February 15, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"...DNA remains on nearly every item a person comes into contact with, and DNA scientists are steadily perfecting the ability to extract individual DNA profiles from a pool of donors – perhaps being able to isolate the DNA of one person from among many who have touched a restaurant salt shaker over the course of a day. When that evidence is readily accepted by courts, the realm of potential evidence will increase exponentially..."

Twitter Abuzz Over Texas Women's Health
News Story  February 8, 2013, by Monica Riese
"...When courts ruled last summer that the state could exclude Planned Parenthood from the federally funded Women's Health Pro­gram – providing the linchpin for the state's argument against the clinics that served over half of the 100,000 women who sought WHP services – they claimed that "Texas's authority to promote [family-planning speech and not abortion speech] would be meaningless if it were forced to enlist organizations as health care providers ... that were also abortion advocates" (see "When You Say 'Plan­ned Parenthood' You Say 'Abortion,' Court Rules," Aug..."

The AggreGAYtor: February 7
Your daily dose of LGBTQIA news
DAILY Qmmunity  February 7, 2013, by Brandon Watson


Disquiet Over Amphitheatres
Neighbors had hoped code changes would put the kibosh on neighboring amphitheatre
News Story  February 1, 2013, by Amy Smith
"..."Right now, [Promiseland] is a permitted amphitheatre and this ordinance would not affect that," he said. If Council approves the proposal from staff, residents' best chances of recourse may rest with the courts...."

Judges Want to Overhaul Indigent Defense
County judges move to reform criminal defense practice
News Story  February 1, 2013, by Jordan Smith


LCRA Wins One
A judge has ruled that LCRA didn't breach its contract with wholesale rates
News Story  February 1, 2013, by Mike Kanin
"...LCRA spokeswoman Clara Tuma said the agency will still need to resolve issues with the four utilities concerning "the breach of contract due to the wrongful termination and possible damages." Local courts in Kendall and Kerr Counties will hear similar cases involving the Boerne Electric Utility and the Kerrville Public Utility Board; the city of Georgetown is appealing a ruling that dismissed its jurisdictional request. For more, see "LCRA and Utilities Fight Over Contracts," Sept..."

Carter Shooting: Attorney Challenges Official Story
Family attorney challenges official version of Carter shooting
News Story  January 25, 2013, by Jordan Smith


LegeLines
Counting down the days, committee chairs, redistricting, and more
News Story  January 25, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...The state is appealing the Justice Department's refusal to preclear their heavily gerrymandered maps, passed last session, which the feds say violate the Voting Rights Act. Now the question is whether the Texas courts will step in and draw new maps...."

Point Austin: Backstage at the Circus
The Lege melodrama can be a hard act to swallow
News Column  January 11, 2013, by Michael King
"...For Perry, in good times and bad, tax cuts are always the priority – that, and finding hot-button issues to distract the voters from the shell games being played with their money. With redistricting, voter ID, and public school finance currently punted to the courts, Perry's nominated distractions for this session appear to be drug-testing of working people (i.e., public assistance and unemployment insurance applicants) and the ever-reliable anti-abortion crusade...."

Chaos in Tejas: Damned If You Don't
Fest adds UK punk legends, plus Iceage, more
DAILY Music  January 10, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...Abigail (Japan) Absu Akitsa (Canada) Andy Stott (England) Anhedonist The Bats (New Zealand) Bolt Thrower Criaturas Criminal Damage Cruciamentum (England) The Damned (England) Destruction Unit Effluxus Final Conflict (Ashes to Ashes line up) Forward (Japan) Framtid (Japan) Full of Hell Gehenna Hoax Iceage (Denmark) Impalers Infernoh (Sweden) Infest Inservibles (Mexico) Integrity Iron Lung Kromosom (Australia) Long Knife Low Culture Lower (Denmark) Magic Circle Mammoth Grinder Manilla Road Marching Church (Denmark) The Marked Men The Men Merchandise Milk Music Mind Eraser The Mind Spiders Mitochondrion (Canada) NASA Space Universe Neo Cons Night Birds Nomad The Novice (Japan/Texas) Palm (Japan) Parquet Courts Power Trip Rampage Rival Mob Rotten Sound (Finland) Sad Boys Satan's Satyrs Screaming Females Sete Star Sept (Japan) S.H.I.T. (Canada) Stab (England) Step Forward Strange Factory (Japan) Sudor (Spain) Terveet Kadet (Finland) Total Control (Australia) Tragedy UV Race (Australia) Vaginors (Australia) Vaaska Violent Future (Canada) Wiccans World War 4 Wrathprayer (Chile)..."

State Cannot Ban Planned Parenthood and Keep Federal Funds for Women's Health Program
State-funded WHP set to begin Jan. 1
DAILY News  December 22, 2012, by Jordan Smith


The AggreGAYtor: December 18
Your daily dose of LGBTQIA news
DAILY Qmmunity  December 18, 2012, by Brandon Watson


Budget: Manufacturing a Bogeyman
News Story  December 14, 2012, by Richard Whittaker
"...Republicans call this the "new normal," and they are widely expected to punt on the two most pressing issues – school finance and health care funding – until the courts force them to act. However, there is a note of tepid optimism..."

10-1: If It Ain't Baroque, Let's Fix It
Strict requirements may yield a small, homogenous pile of applicants
News Story  December 14, 2012, by Elizabeth Pagano
"...Department of Justice preclearance that is required under the Voting Rights Act. "I mean it can work, if the courts could come in and shorten deadlines and extend elections, but it's going to be a giant debacle," said Lewis...."

Planned Parenthood Files New Suit Against Texas
PP says shouldn't be banned from state-run program
DAILY News  December 11, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...A hearing on the new suit, which seeks to enjoin the state from banning Planned Parenthood from the TWHP and from making good on a threat that it will can the whole program if the courts find it illegal to ban the nonprofit, will be held before the end of the year...."

Will Texas Do Better?
Ongoing lawsuits are keeping everything in limbo, but after that …
News Story  December 7, 2012, by Richard Whittaker
"...When Texas courts ruled against the school finance system in 1989, it took three years and 10 special sessions to craft a legally acceptable replacement. The concern now is whether Republicans will find ways to rewrite the budget rules..."

Will Texas Do Better?
On recusals, straight-ticket voting, and a bifurcated judiciary
News Story  December 7, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...Sounds utterly sensible – but elected judges cannot do without such contributions, especially from major law firms that regularly appear before them. If this one were to pass, there would likely be no appeals courts left..."

State Seeks to Seize FLDS Compound
Abbott going after Jeffs' West Texas land
DAILY News  November 28, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...The FLDS moved to Texas in 2003 and lived in relative peace with the surrounding community of Eldorado until the state got a questionable phone tip claiming that children living at the compound were being sexually abused as part of the FLDS' participation in polygamy. The state went in and removed all the children found there, though the courts later rebuked the state's actions and sent the children back to live with their parents..."

DNA Testing Puts Hank Skinner at Murder Scene
But it doesn't necessarily mean he's guilty, attorneys argue
News Story  November 23, 2012, by Jordan Smith


The AggreGAYtor: November 16
Your daily dose of LGBTQIA news
DAILY Qmmunity  November 16, 2012, by Brandon Watson


'An Agency Run Amok': State Keeps Planned Parenthood in Limbo
Judge issues temporary injunction; attorney general immediately issued notice of appeal
News Story  November 16, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...Monson also argued that even if the inoperability clause is relevant, the federal government doesn't actually have the authority to deny the state Medicaid funds for the WHP. Whether the new Texas rules actually violate federal law is up to the federal courts to determine, Monson said, noting that a federal suit challenging the CMS decision to defund the program is pending in federal court in Waco..."

The AggreGAYtor: November 15
Your daily dose of LGBTQIA news
DAILY Qmmunity  November 15, 2012, by Brandon Watson


The Austin Table Tennis Association: Looking for Gumps
New facility shines
DAILY Sports  November 13, 2012, by Carly Yansak
"...The facility was hand-built by members and specifically designed for the sport. It has rows of courts wall to wall and lights bright enough to always find the ball..."

The AggreGAYtor: November 12
Your daily dose of LGBTQIA news
DAILY Qmmunity  November 12, 2012, by Brandon Watson


Third Court Turns Bright Red
Dem Diane Henson loses her seat But Keith Hampton isn't giving up
News Story  November 9, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...The Third Court is one of 14 intermediate appellate courts statewide, but the Austin-based court, which serves 24 counties, has statewide impact. In addition to the routine civil and criminal cases it hears, Third Court judges also consider appeals involving state agencies and officials – from utility and environmental regulations to licensing disputes to public corruption cases – that have statewide ramifications..."

Fate of Women's Health Care in Court's – and Perry's – Hands
State hangs fire on Women's Health Program, awaits court decision
News Story  November 9, 2012, by Jordan Smith


Court of Criminal Appeals Re-Elects 'Killer' Keller
Gerald Daugherty is back
News Story  November 9, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...Amazingly, voters on Tuesday night chose to re-elect Court of Criminal Appeals GOP Presiding Judge Sharon "Killer" Keller – overlooking her ethical lapses (such as the 2010 failure to disclose to the Texas Ethics Commission millions of dollars in personal assets, and more infamously declaring in 2007 that the courthouse closes at 5pm, effectively foreclosing a death row inmate's ability to appeal) and the fact that she chose not to campaign and instead sat back and let the "R" next to her name do the work for her. Keith Hampton may have lost the race, but he's still in the battle to restore balance to the statewide courts: "Vote Hampton 2014," he wrote in a postelection text message to the Chronicle...."

Planned Parenthood Still in the Women's Health Program...For Now
Travis County judge issues temporary injunction
DAILY News  November 8, 2012, by Jordan Smith


Third Court Seats Go GOP
One Dem remains on influential bench
DAILY News  November 7, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...The Third Court is one of 14 intermediate appellate courts statewide, but the Austin-based court, which serves 24 counties, has statewide impact. In addition to the routine civil and criminal cases it hears, Third Court judges also consider appeals involving state agencies and officials – from utility and environmental regulations to licensing disputes to public corruption cases – that have statewide ramifications..."

Questioning Statistics
Postmarks  November 3, 2012
"...2]: Several years ago, I tried to get traffic and jaywalking statistics from the city in response to police harassment of homeless newspaper vendors. I was told that traffic and misdemeanor tickets are quickly delivered to the municipal courts, where they are no longer subject to the Open Records Act..."

Framing the Guilty?
Houston police thought they had their man – so the evidence was no problem
News Story  November 2, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...Ideally, once misconduct is found, courts should allow for a retrial without the tainted evidence. It's not about letting a guilty person walk, he notes; it's about making sure the process is fair. Final Days..."

Letters at 3AM: Things Like That
Under Obama, we have been subjected to a Patriot Act on steroids
Columns  November 2, 2012, by Michael Ventura
"...... [M]ost courts allowing surveillance are so secret, [Smith] wrote ....."

Don't Stop Thinkin' About Tomorrow
Norman Bel Geddes didn't – and we're still dreaming about his future
Arts Story  November 2, 2012, by Robert Faires
"...Take a gander at his vision for an airliner. It's really a hotel for the sky, built to carry 450 passengers and 155 crewmen on intercontinental trips, with 302 cabins, 13 pantries, three kitchens, two bars, a veranda cafe, three private and two public dining rooms (one of which converts into a dance floor for 100 couples), an orchestra platform, a promenade deck, a gym, four courts for tennis and six for shuffleboard, a doctor's office, a barber shop, a hair salon, two solariums, and a library spread over nine decks, with a massive engine room and hangars for two emergency airplanes..."

Two More Executions Set for November
Death row inmates Mario Swain and Ramon Hernandez both lost appeals
News Story  November 2, 2012, by Jordan Smith


Headlines
News Story  November 2, 2012
"...› The state-run Women's Health Program excluding Planned Parenthood is apparently ready to go, but Texas isn't so eager to give PP the boot before federal money runs out. State Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek announced Wednesday that the Medicaid-funded Women's Health Program will continue as-is until the courts rule that the PP exclusion violates the law and Medicaid funding ceases...."

Dallas D.A. Says Supremes Should Take Jimenez Case
Watkins asking court to decide standard for actual innocence
DAILY News  October 31, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...The Supremes have previously recognized the existence of freestanding innocence claims – that is, where a claim of innocence stands alone without being tied to some procedural defect or other legally cognizable claim – but have declined to define exactly what it takes to prove up such a claim. State courts are divided on how to answer that, the law professors wrote, and the Supremes should take the Jimenez case precisely because the CCA opined that clear and convincing "evidence of innocence entitles a prisoner to a new trial but that a 'preponderance' of such evidence does not."..."

The AggreGAYtor: October 29
Your daily dose of LGBTQIA news
DAILY Qmmunity  October 29, 2012, by Brandon Watson
"...• Instead of fighting it out in the courts, the AggreGAYtor suggests that gay fraternity Delta Lambda Phi competes with gender neutral “frarority’ Delta Lambda Psi in a ball. The first category is business professor realness..."

Next Execution: Halloween
News Story  October 26, 2012, by Jordan Smith


Fun Fun Fun Fest Preview: Headbanging & Horns On The Black Stage
Music Story  October 26, 2012, by Michael Toland
"...Liturgy (Sun., 2:05pm) Boundary-pushing Brooklyn act courts controversy with its self-styled "transcendental black metal."..."

Greg Abbott Versus the Black Helicopters
After decade of cooperation, AG threatens election experts
DAILY News  October 25, 2012, by Richard Whittaker
"...In a statement this morning, ACLU executive director Terri Burke wrote, "Given the ongoing discrimination in voting federal courts have recently found in Texas – its adoption of racially biased redistricting plans and a photo ID requirement for voting – I’m not surprised that some state officials don’t want an independent organization to take a look at our elections."..."

Cracks in the Ceiling
An extended Q&A with Ann Richards biographer Jan Reid
DAILY Books  October 25, 2012, by Michael King
"...Jan Reid: I’m not sure it could have been different, because of the Ruiz case, and the courts essentially had taken the reins of the prison system. The Clements Administration had backdoor policy, of paroling a huge number of people every week…..."

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