August 29, 2012 |
WASHINGTON — A three-judge federal court threw out the Texas legislative districts drawn by the state's Republican-controlled Legislature, holding that they discriminated against Latinos and blacks and violated the Voting Rights Act. The decision, if upheld on appeal, will force Texas lawmakers to redraw the districts for Congress and the state Legislature so as to elect a greater number of minority legislators. The ruling will not affect the November elections, however. Earlier this year, federal judges in Texas drew an interim districting plan to be used this year only.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 1, 2012 |
The official record says that Charles Manson and his cult followers murdered eight people during their reign of terror across Los Angeles more than 40 years ago. But for those involved in bringing members of the Manson family to justice, there has always been the lingering suspicion that their trail of death was longer. Over the years, questions have persisted about a man's apparent suicide in England, the drowning of an attorney and whether bodies are buried under the California ranches the cult called home.
May 18, 2012 |
HOUSTON -- The Texas Supreme Court has ordered the Lone Star State to pay more than $2 million to a former inmate who spent 26 years in prison for murder, a ruling that could set a precedent for compensating other prisoners whose convictions are overturned. Billy Frederick Allen, now in his 60s, was convicted of two 1983 Dallas-area murders. Unlike other inmates freed after DNA evidence proved their innocence, Allen was freed in 2009 after a court found problems with witness testimony and his trial attorneys' representation.
January 20, 2012 |
The Supreme Court gave an early win to Texas Republicans in the fight over redrawing election districts and the balance of power in Congress, ruling that the district lines should mostly follow those set by GOP lawmakers and not those by judges who drew new boundaries to favor Latinos. The 9-0 decision set aside a new map of congressional districts drawn by a special federal court in San Antonio that gave Latinos and Democrats a good chance to win three or possibly four new seats in the House of Representatives.
January 9, 2012 |
The Supreme Court justices waded into an election-year political dispute from Texas, signaling they favor drawing the state's 36 congressional districts based largely on the plan adopted by its Republican-controlled Legislature. The court's leading conservatives said they were skeptical of allowing judges in San Antonio to put into effect their own statewide map that creates districts geared to electing Latinos. Texas has been put "at a tremendous disadvantage," said Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, because the judges largely ignored the wishes of the Legislature.
September 16, 2011 |
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Friday that he respected the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to block the execution of a Houston murderer who would be the 236th person put to death on his watch. Perry, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, and Texas judges had refused to grant requests for a reprieve from convicted murderer Duane Edward Buck. "Whether or not he is guilty is not in question," Perry told reporters while campaigning at a Coca-Cola bottling plant in rural western Iowa.