Earle Speaks

Over the course of his 30-year career as Travis Co. district attorney, Ronnie Earle has delivered countless speeches, written dozens of articles (for the opinion pages as well as for criminal-justice-related trade publications), and participated as a panelist for a number of conferences and conventions. Below are but three examples from the annals of Earle wisdom. – J.S.

1) AA speech

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As a municipal judge, Earle says he first realized the power of substance abuse – and that it is a problem that requires more than a criminal-justice fix. Here he delivers a speech to the Texas State Alcoholics Anonymous Convention in Austin on June 7, 1980.

2) Rice speech

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In his 2002 speech, "Moving Beyond 'The War on Drugs'" for a conference at Rice University, Earle suggests that "restorative justice" is the key to reforming drug policy.

3) Murray article

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In 1996, Earle delivered this "sermon" to the congregation at the Rev. Sterling Lands' Greater Calvary Baptist Church, ruminating on the case of Lacresha Murray [See "Justice Denied?," August 13, 1998], who was twice convicted of killing 2-year-old Jayla Belton before she was released from jail and charges against her were finally dropped in 1999. Although there was but the barest evidence that Murray had done anything wrong, Earle felt strongly that she was, indeed, guilty and told the congregation that it was our collective responsibility to help "her come to grips with what she's done."

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