JUSTICE REFORM IS A KEY ISSUE THIS ELECTION SEASON
Oct. 24, 2016
Elections are just around the corner and while much of the national news is focused on the presidential candidates, local incumbents in both parties are fighting to keep their jobs. With rising frustration over the lack of progress in Congress and at the state legislature level, there is a bipartisan effort to have an impact on the local level with elections. And a key topic, especially in Texas, is the criminal justice system. With the mishandling of cases, particularly involving drug charges, many people are voting for change.
The Battle for District Attorney
According to a recent article from The Marshall Project, the new strategy that is catching on around the country is to vote out the incumbent DA in order to make changes in the criminal justice system. This shift is happening around the country and can also be seen in Harris County, TX. In this particular battle, the Democratic challenger, Kim Ogg, and her supporters are questioning the current DA’s handling of several recent scandals.
Harris County’s Precinct 4 Constable’s Office is currently under investigation for destroying over 21,000 pieces of evidence mostly involving drug cases. As a result, the district attorney’s office has had to dismiss over 142 cases already and there are thousands more that may also be impacted by this destruction of evidence.
Another scandal plaguing Harris County involves the current bail system. There is a federal lawsuit filed against the bail system for its judges not taking into consideration whether or not people can afford the bail that is set, even in misdemeanor cases. Ogg says this is unconstitutional and she will make changes if elected this fall. She has the support the Houston Chronicle and the Black Lives Matter movement for her run as District Attorney.
Dallas has seen similar issues on the heels of Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk submitting her resignation after a tumultuous couple of years in office.
The Importance of Legal Counsel for Criminal Charges
Unfortunately, laws can be slow to change. However, it is important to remember that those accused of drug crimes or any other type of crime are innocent until proven guilty. If you or a family member are arrested, it is important to seek legal counsel from a knowledgeable attorney immediately. At the law office of Phillip A. Linder, we have over 20 years of experience maintaining innocence and overcoming criminal charges. We can help you protect your rights throughout the legal process.