TDCAA    TDCAA Community  Hop To Forum Categories  Criminal    Are we in the same boat?
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Are we in the same boat? Login/Join 
Member
posted
Great ABA article, Shannon (or the person responsible for posting the ABA Journal article). There are many of us in Texas who can very much identify with that article. I think the budget situations in prosecutor's offices in Texas vary more than most states because, unlike Florida and other states, most of our budgets come from county sources ... and some countys are better off than others. My office handles about 400 felony indictments a year between two attorneys (I'm one of them). Frankly, as one prosecutor in the article mentioned, we could accept more than that but we have had to toughen our standards on accepting cases just as a matter of survival. And I'm sure there are offices out there in worse shape than mine. What can we do about this? Is there a way to create some funding source to help out offices in dire straits? Is it time to re-evaluate the funding structures in some small offices, i.e. depending only on the good will of the county commissioners? What do you think?
 
Posts: 283 | Location: Montague, Texas, USA | Registered: January 26, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Administrator
Member
posted Hide Post
I think the article raises several interesting points:

(a) Things are tough all over, so folks like Tim have company with whom to share their misery;

(b) Several of the states rely much more extensively on state funding, with similar poor support. Which begs this question: if you have to fight for resources, would you rather do it at home w/ your commissioners, or in Austin w/ the Lege?

(c) NDAA's effort to achieve a student loan forgiveness program at the federal level needs the grass-roots support of Texas prosecutors -- and Henry Garza (Bell Co. DA) is trying to organize that;

(d) As recently as a Capitol hearing held Wednesday (on the SPA), the point was made about the "disparity in resources" that favors the State over the defense -- would articles like this change that perception?

Discuss ... Wink

p.s. - Tim, I did post that article, but most of that yeoman's work is done by Alison or Markus.
 
Posts: 2406 | Location: TDCAA | Registered: March 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
There was certainly a disparity of resources between the State and the defense in the Robert Durst case.
 
Posts: 514 | Location: austin, tx, usa | Registered: July 02, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
My Da has been giving 1/3 of our forfeiture funds back to the counties so they have no idea how much it costs to run our office. I'm running unopposed but have this nightmare coming up as the funds dwindle and the Counties are forced to pay. Won't that be fun? Poor counties without drug money being picked up occasionally.
 
Posts: 334 | Location: Beeville, Texas., USA | Registered: September 14, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I have done pretty much the same. The only way I was able to convince the commissioners to fund an assistant DA is to contribute $10,000 a year to the position from my forfeiture fund ... which barely has $10,000 a year in it. Shannon, you make a good point about dealing with the legislature as opposed to the local commissioners court, but in some of our cases it matters little because we aren't getting anywhere either way. How can we be creative? Would it be possible to create a self-funding mechanism of some sort to draw on in emegency situations ... like when you have a capital murder case and no assistant district attorney. Or even when the ratio of cases to population to staff gets so high that it is impossible to handle. Just brainstorming but every good act begins with an idea.
 
Posts: 283 | Location: Montague, Texas, USA | Registered: January 26, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Administrator
Member
posted Hide Post
I had request to re-post the article, since it's been replaced on the main page. Here it is:

"The Good Fight Gets Harder"
 
Posts: 2406 | Location: TDCAA | Registered: March 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Whatever happened to the student loan forgiveness for rural prosecutors? I thought two legislatures ago, this issue came up and was passed?
 
Posts: 34 | Location: Canyon, TX | Registered: December 11, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
It was, for all counties under 50,000. However, it was not funded. The bill created a trust-fund which could be filled with appropriated money or charitable donations, and distributed by rules promulgated by the Higher Education Board. Since no $$ was actually deposited into the fund, however, the Board never wrote any rules.

So,if anyone ever puts $$$ into the fund, we are in business!
 
Posts: 273 | Registered: January 19, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I had actually forgotten about that. Maybe that's a starting point. Try to figure out a way to get some funding into that program.
 
Posts: 283 | Location: Montague, Texas, USA | Registered: January 26, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Administrator
Member
posted Hide Post
Maybe we should all start buying lottery tickets ... Smile
 
Posts: 2406 | Location: TDCAA | Registered: March 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

TDCAA    TDCAA Community  Hop To Forum Categories  Criminal    Are we in the same boat?

© TDCAA, 2001. All Rights Reserved.