Posts Tagged ‘ Texas ’

SCOTUS: Texas can keep Confederate flag off license plates

June 18, 2015
posted by

Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times    

"The Supreme Court has freed states to control what appears on their specialty license plates, ruling Thursday that Texas authorities were justified in refusing to issue a plate bearing a Confederate battle flag. In a 5-4 decision, the justices said a state-issued license plate is 'government speech,' not the private speech of a motorist. For that reason, the state may decide which messages it wants conveyed on license plates." [editor's note: If it's government speech rather than my speech, does that mean I can refuse to promote it by displaying it prominently on my car? - TLK] (06/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qbueu5a  

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TX: Thug cop who assaulted 15-year-old girl resigns

June 10, 2015
posted by

ABC News ABC News    

"The police officer who was videotaped slamming a teen girl to the ground and raising his gun towards others during a fight at a Texas pool has resigned, his attorney tells ABC News. Cpl. Eric Casebolt's resignation comes a day after hundreds of protesters marched near the pool in McKinney where the incident took place last weekend. The release of the video prompted national outcry after there were allegations that race played a factor in the way that the white officer treated the African-American teens." (06/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o8maczx  

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Federal appeals court upholds Texas abortion law

June 9, 2015
posted by

Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times    

"A federal appeals panel has decided to uphold nearly all of the provisions of a Texas law that will force the closure of most of the state's abortion clinics, according to an opinion published on Tuesday. ... The measure, which first cleared the Texas Legislature nearly two years ago, was part of a wide-ranging bill that limited access to abortions and put restrictions on when they could be conducted." (06/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pf52627  

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TX: State employees kill inmate after three decades of imprisonment

June 4, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Texas on Wednesday [killed] Lester Bower, one of the longest-serving inmates on the state's death row who had said he was wrongly convicted of killing four men in 1983 and had spent three decades trying to halt his capital punishment. Bower was pronounced dead at 6:36 p.m. CDT after being given a lethal injection at the state's death chamber in Huntsville, a prisons official said." (06/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pmtwzck  

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TX: Abbot signs law to prohibit local fracking bans

May 18, 2015
posted by

Al Jazeera Al Jazeera America    

"Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Monday signed a bill into law that prohibits cities and towns from banning an oil drilling practice known as hydraulic fracking, giving the state sole authority over oil and gas regulation. Lawmakers in Texas, a state that is home to the two of the most productive U.S. shale oil fields, have been under pressure to halt an anti-fracking movement since November, when voters in the town of Denton voted to ban the oil and gas extraction technique. Residents near the 270 gas wells there had told Al Jazeera they suffered from nosebleeds and nausea that they said they believed resulted from fracking byproducts." (05/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n2mvvgh  

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TX: Prison officials say they have enough poison to kill two more prisoners

May 14, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Texas prison officials say they've obtained a new supply of drugs that will allow them to carry out the two [pre-planned killings] currently scheduled. The [killing] earlier this week of Derrick Dewayne Charles left the Texas Department of Criminal Justice with enough pentobarbital to accommodate only the scheduled June 3 lethal injection of prisoner Lester Bower. Another inmate, Gregory Russeau, is set to [be killed by state employees] June 15." (05/14/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qy92uph  

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TX: Nicotine Nazis take over legislature

May 14, 2015
posted by

Washington Times    

"E-cigarettes would be off-limits for Texas minors to purchase under a proposal that has cleared both chambers of the Texas Legislature. The bill originated in the Senate and passed the House on Tuesday. The upper chamber only needs to approve tweaks made to it in House committee to send the proposal to Gov. Greg Abbott." (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n9m9wlq  

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TX: State employees kill inmate

May 13, 2015
posted by

Tyler Morning Telegraph    

"A Texas inmate was [killed by state employees] Tuesday for the killings of his 15-year-old girlfriend, her mother and her grandfather nearly 13 years ago in Houston. Derrick Dewayne Charles, 32, became the seventh prisoner put to death this year in the nation's most active capital punishment state. He was pronounced dead at 6:36 p.m., 25 minutes after being given the execution drug. ... The lethal injection was carried out after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected arguments from Charles'[s] attorneys that he was mentally incompetent for execution and that they needed time and court-approved money for experts and investigators to pursue that claim. Another appeal argued Charles'[s] trial court also acted improperly by refusing to appoint psychiatric experts and investigators." (05/12/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nv2ps9o  

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Good news (sort of) out of Texas

May 6, 2015
posted by

H Sterling Burnett Competitive Enterprise Institute
by H Sterling Burnett  

"How long does a state have to subsidize an industry before it has to stand on it own -- evidently 15 years is the limit in Texas, as the state is on its way to repealing its renewable energy mandate. Texas's renewable power mandate has been around since 1999, offered in order to get certain legislators and politically connected industries to buy into the 1999 legislation which established competitive electric markets in the state." (05/05/15)

http://blog.heartland.org/2015/05/good-news-sort-of-out-of-texas/  

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TX: Two suspects killed, security guard wounded, at “Draw Muhammad” contest

May 4, 2015
posted by

NBC News NBC News    

"Two suspects were killed and a security guard was shot outside a 'Draw Muhammad' contest in Garland, Texas, police told NBC News. It was initially thought a police officer had been shot, but the victim was later confirmed to be a security guard. ... The contest was described as a 'free speech' event by its sponsor, the American Freedom Defense Initiative. It offered a $10,000 top prize and featured Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who is known for his anti-Muslim views, as its speaker." (05/03/15)

http://tinyurl.com/msycwey  

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TX: Senate approves drug testing for political candidates

April 29, 2015
posted by

KVIA News    

"Any candidate seeking elected office in Texas would be required to take a drug test when he or she files to run, under a proposal that the state Senate approved Tuesday. But the idea may never take effect, since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturned a similar law in the 1990s. There wouldn't be any consequences for failing the test under the rule, which was included as an amendment on far-reaching ethics legislation. But the results would be posted on the Texas Ethics Commission's website. The Senate approved the ethics measure, Senate Bill 19, with a 30-1 vote after an hours-long debate. The amendment with the drug testing rule was approved 22-9. The measure now goes to the House." (04/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kudowg7  

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TX: State employees kill inmate after drug dealer comes through

April 9, 2015
posted by

Houston Chronicle Houston Chronicle    

"Texas prison officials on Thursday [killed] a man convicted in the slaying of a Dallas-area police officer during a 2002 shootout that followed the killing of a customer outside a convenience store. Kent Sprouse, 42, became the fifth convicted killer [killed with announce premeditation by state employees] this year in Texas, the nation's most active [pre-planned state killing] state. ... Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials said a recent purchase of pentobarbital means they have enough of the sedative to [kill three more prisoners] this month, including one next week." (04/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oj7gr4d  

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TX: Woman accused of trying to firebomb pro-life group

March 25, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"An Austin woman is accused of throwing a burning bottle at an anti-abortion group praying outside of Planned Parenthood Monday evening. Melanie Maria Toney, 52, is jailed on a felony charge of aggravated assault. No bail has been set. An arrest affidavit states that members of Texas Alliance for Life were praying near the South Austin facility when a woman in an SUV tossed a 'flaming item' out of the window." (03/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/npdumod  

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TX: Man uses gun to protect pregnant wife, son from home invasion suspects

March 5, 2015
posted by

KTRE 9 News    

"A Wells family is recovering after a harrowing home invasion incident early Monday morning in which a man fought to protect his pregnant wife and young son from two suspects. ... 'The first thing I wanted to do was get my son out of his room and get him with my wife and get them locked up in a bedroom while they're were on the phone with 911,' [Kevin] Budro said. When Budro saw the intruder, he got his gun and started to shoot. 'My son's room was right there 10 feet from where the intruder was standing,' Budro said. 'I had no mercy at all. I did not care. If I had gotten my hands on him, I don't know what would have happened.' At that point, the suspect ran out the back door and into the woods behind the home. After Budro followed him, he realized that there was a second suspect who wanted to do him harm. ... Cherokee County Sheriff's deputies determined that the second suspect tried to slit Budro's throat open, but the home owner defended himself with his arms." (03/04/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oaz7eyc  

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Rodney Reed will not die next week — but Texas still wants to kill him

February 26, 2015
posted by

The Intercept The Intercept
by Jordan Smith  

"Nine days before Rodney Reed was scheduled to die in Texas for a crime he swears he didn't commit, the state's highest criminal court issued a stay of execution. The order came down late Monday afternoon, in response to an appeal citing new and compelling scientific evidence that challenges the state's timeline of events in the 1996 murder of 19-year-old Stacey Stites, which sent Reed to death row. ... because the new scientific evidence 'eviscerates' the state's theory of the crime, Benjet argues, it also invalidates the lower-court judge's opinion that further DNA testing would be irrelevant. ... The state counters that DNA testing is unnecessary and, in a separate brief filed Monday, that the real goal by Reed's defense is to 'unreasonably delay' his execution." (02/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kc68la9  

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TX: Court halts planned state killing

February 23, 2015
posted by

Austin American-Statesman    

"The state's highest criminal court halted the execution of Rodney Reed on Monday, 10 days before the Bastrop man was to have been put to death for the 1996 murder of Stacey Stites. In a 6-2 ruling, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals stayed Reed’s execution based on a Feb. 12 petition claiming that a new look at old forensic evidence shows Reed did not kill Stites, a 19-year-old Giddings resident who was strangled 18 days before her wedding date." (02/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mq8ln4e  

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TX: Marriage apartheid ended for one couple

February 19, 2015
posted by

Austin Chronicle    

"Early this morning, history was made as the first gay couple in Texas received a marriage license in Travis County. Austin residents, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, secured a temporary restraining order from Travis County District Judge David Wahlberg allowing Travis County Clerk Dana Debeauvoir to grant them a lawful marriage. In a statement, the County notes the situation applies to a medically fragile couple -- Goodfriend suffers from ovarian cancer and her 'future remains uncertain,' according to court documents -- and any additional licenses must also be court ordered." (02/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l9zhj3v  

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TX: Suspected home intruder shot in head by apartment resident

February 19, 2015
posted by

ABC 13 Eyewitness News    

"A man is in the hospital with a gunshot wound to the head after an attempted home invasion. It happened at an apartment complex on Hollister in northwest Houston. The resident of one of the apartment units told police a man broke the bedroom window and began crawling inside. The resident then grabbed his gun and shot the intruder in the head." (02/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mm8wc5h  

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TX: Abbot plans to double state’s spending on border security theater

February 18, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Texas Governor Greg Abbott pledged to double the state's spending on securing [sic] the border with Mexico, saying on Tuesday the federal government has not done enough to halt illegal [sic] immigration. Abbott, a Republican and former state attorney general who became governor in January, has tried to position Texas as a top challenger of President Barack Obama's immigration policies. Texas spearheaded the lawsuit that led a federal judge there on Monday to block Obama's order shielding millions of illegal [sic] immigrants from deportation." (02/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mcnjpnq  

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TX: SCOTUS blocks scheduled state killing

February 5, 2015
posted by

ABC News ABC News    

"A Texas inmate set to be [killed] next week for fatally shooting four men at an airplane hangar more than 30 years ago won a reprieve Thursday from the U.S. Supreme Court. Lester Bower Jr., 67, among the longest-serving Texas death row inmates, had been scheduled for lethal injection Tuesday. The justices gave no reason for the reprieve, saying only that it would be lifted automatically if they deny an appeal or act on it." (02/05/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qczqx7t  

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TX: Regime employees kill inmate

January 29, 2015
posted by

Houston Chronicle Houston Chronicle    

"A Texas man convicted of killing a 38-year-old woman nearly two decades ago while he was on parole for a triple slaying years earlier was [killed] Thursday evening. Robert Ladd, 57, received a lethal injection after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected arguments he was mentally impaired and ineligible for [being killed by state employees]. The court also rejected an appeal in which Ladd's attorney challenged whether the pentobarbital Texas uses in [pre-planned state killings] is potent enough to not cause unconstitutional pain and suffering." (01/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nfqsrla  

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TX: Perry loses bid to toss ethics charges on constitutional grounds

January 28, 2015
posted by

Bloomberg    

"Rick Perry failed to persuade a Texas judge to throw out an ethics violation case on claims the state constitution protects a governor's right to say whatever he wants about his official powers. Perry, a potential candidate for the 2016 Republican U.S. presidential nomination, may have to face a trial on two counts of abusing his authority. Perry allegedly threatened to veto funding for an ethics task force if the county prosecutor running it didn't resign following a drunken-driving conviction." (01/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q793k8t  

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TX: State employees kill prisoner

January 22, 2015
posted by

NBC News NBC News    

"A 41-year-old Texas prisoner was put to death Wednesday evening for the slayings of three people during a robbery at their San Antonio home more than 21 years ago. Arnold Prieto became the first prisoner to receive a lethal injection this year in Texas, which carried out 10 executions in 2014." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pvxmjar  

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Medicaid expansion: Texas should chart its own course

January 7, 2015
posted by

National Center for Policy Analysis National Center for Policy Analysis
by Devon M Herrick  

"The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) required each state to expand Medicaid eligibility to individuals and families with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level or risk losing federal funding for its entire Medicaid program. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that provision of Obamacare unconstitutional. As a result, Texas and other states that have not expanded Medicaid eligibility have more options to tailor the program to better meet their unique needs." (01/07/15)

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st363  

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Sex, spice and small-town Texas justice

December 29, 2014
posted by

Reason Reason
by Anthony L Fisher  

"Why did the government go after The Purple Zone? The DEA says the raid was one in a series of nationwide enforcement actions carried out that day with the goal of taking down purveyors of synthetic drugs who funnel their proceeds to Middle Eastern terrorists. It also says that Lipsen was a prime suspect. But as a Jew and avid supporter of Israel, she hardly fits the profile of an Islamic terrorism financier. A more likely reason: Brewster County District Attorney Rod Ponton is Lipsen's jilted ex-lover, and has been carrying out a personal vendetta against her for the past few years. He prompted federal law enforcement agents to pursue a groundless and expensive crusade against her smoke shop, turning life for Lipsen and her family into a living hell." (for publication 01/15)

http://reason.com/archives/2014/12/27/sex-spice-and-small-town-texas  

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