Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney BLOG

Do DNA Exonerations Have an Effect on Conviction Rates in Texas?

Posted on June 8, 2012 by Christine Harris

Experts are saying that recent criminal exonerations are reducing the death sentences handed down by juries in Texas, according to LubbockOnline.com. The last time a person was sentenced to death in Bexar County was 2009, when one defendant was given the death penalty. Between 1995 and 2006, Bexar County juries sentenced 24 persons to death. “We don’t go get the death penalty just because we can,” First Assistant District Attorney Cliff Herberg told the Express-News. “It’s a very serious decision-making process.” According to opinion polls in Texas, the public is still in favor of the death penalty but less often when life in prison is an alternative. This could be an indication that the public is more apprehensive due to recent exonerations rather than moving away from capital punishment in general. Courts have granted more appeals in Texas than in the past as well to persons convicted of crimes, especially…
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Man Exonerated 10 Years After False Rape Accusation

Posted on June 6, 2012 by Christine Harris

Brian Banks was convicted on sexual assault and rape charges when he was only 16 years old, approximately 10 years ago. Banks’ conviction was overturned and he was exonerated recently after the alleged victim, Wanetta Gibson, recanted her testimony of Banks of raping her while they were at Long Beach Poly High School together in California. Gibson subsequently sued the school district, receiving a $750,000 settlement and Banks spent 5 years in prison for rape after pleading no contest. Gibson later friend-requested Banks on Facebook and admitted to him that she fabricated her testimony to sue the school district. Although it is great that an innocent man is out of jail, it is unclear whether or not any charges can be filed against Gibson. Although, crazy as it may seem, that does not seem to be any sort of priority for Banks. Banks plans to file a claim against the…
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Elementary School Principal Arrested on Drug Charges

Posted on June 4, 2012 by Christine Harris

An elementary school teacher in Dallas County, Alabama is facing serious drug charges, according to sources. Aaron McKinley, the principal at Shiloh Elementary School, was arrested on May 24. Selma Police Chief William Riley says investigators caught McKinley selling Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, prescription pain killers, on school grounds. Riley said that McKinley was selling the drugs “to an individual on school property.” Nothing in the reports indicated he was selling to school children. McKinley could face very serious charges because the sale occurred on school grounds. “We are both shocked and saddened about the allegation involving Mr. McKinley,” the Dallas County School Board said in a released statement. “However, well will take the necessary steps to protect our students and the reputation of the Dallas County Board of Education.” If you are facing possession of drug charges and were arrested near a school zone, you could be facing more serious…
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