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Friday, November 2, 2012

Very good article on game wardens' right to search: OUTDOORS: MIKE LEGGETT Leggett: Game wardens’ powers shrouded in mystery There’s more than a little mystery and misinformation about Texas game wardens and the legal powers they have. Can they detain you? Can they search you? Your truck? How about your hunting lodge? Listen to stories in the field or around a camp fire, and you might think they can do anything they want. The truth is that almost all of the time game wardens have no magical powers to detain, search and question hunters or anybody else. They have no more right than any other law enforcement officer to stop you on a public road and search your truck or the people in it. They should, the law says, have probable cause to believe that a violation of the law has taken place before they execute a stop, and they should request, and obtain, your permission to search your truck. Otherwise, they need a search warrant. After 13 years in prison, ex-cop may be innocent By Craig Kapitan For the past 13 years, retired San Antonio Police Officer Frank Navarijo, 73, has sat in prison — a convicted child molester serving a 20-year sentence for the repeated rape of a 5-year-oldfemale relative. Friday, his accuser recanted. For now, Navarijo remains in the Bexar County Jail. Appellate attorney Michael Gross also submitted to the court affidavits from three jurors who said the decision to convict Navarijo was a close one. Had the accuser taken the stance she does now, they would have voted for acquittal, each said. THURSDAY, NOV 1, 2012 03:11 PM CDT Ex-Penn State president charged in Sandusky case Graham Spanier was charged Thursday with a "conspiracy of silence" over child sex abuse complaints BY ASSOCIATED PRESS HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Former Penn State President Graham Spanier was charged Thursday with hushing up child sex abuse complaints against Jerry Sandusky, taking the allegations of a “conspiracy of silence” to the highest level of the university and marking another chapter in the dramatic downfall of a once-renowned administrator. Prosecutors also added counts against two of Spanier’s former underlings, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, who were already charged with lying to the grand jury that investigated the former Penn State assistant football coach. “This was not a mistake by these men. This was not an oversight. It was not misjudgment on their part,” said state Attorney General Linda Kelly. “This was a conspiracy of silence by top officials to actively conceal the truth.” Marijuana prohibition hanging by a thread It's only a matter of time before the federal government capitalizes on the multi-billion dollar industry BY DOUG FINE, ALTERNET On the producer/farmer end, sometimes law enforcement budgets are actually dependent on seizing Americans’ property. California U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner unilaterally “awarded” Stanislaus County law enforcers $154,875 following one 2011 raid. Federal law doesn’t even mandate property return if charges are never filed. This is why former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper says, “the drug war’s most serious collateral damage has been to undermine the role of civilian law enforcement in our free society.” Without question, the economic data show that cannabis should immediately be put to work for the American economy. That’s what, in the end, makes it a top-tier-important issue at a time of debt crisis, currency crisis and Middle East dictator crisis: not only are the enforcement billions better spent elsewhere, but revenues from the cannabis plant economy itself will impart billions into our economy every year. Ex-S.A. official goes on trial over $16,000 farewell party By Craig Kapitan When Jeanetta Tinsley's predecessor retired from San Antonio's Office of Grants Monitoring and Administration in 2009, one of the first tasks she took on as new department director was to plan a going-away party. But as the taxpayer-funded soiree grew to include a band, a bartender, valet parking, an ice sculpture and an overall price tag of more than $16,000, her actions went from managerial to criminal, prosecutors said Thursday as testimony began in her felony trial. Tinsley, 43, could face up to two years in a state jail facility if jurors in 399th state District Court find her guilty of misapplication of fiduciary property. Williamson County deputy makes record drug bust on I-35 GEORGETOWN — A Williamson County Sheriff’s deputy seized a record amount of crystal methamphetamine during a routine traffic stop this week, authorities announced Thursday. The deputy found 91 pounds of crystal methamphetamine — the largest such seizure for Williamson County, officials said — wrapped in 30 bundles and also discovered 28 pounds of marijuana wrapped in one large brick in the back seat of a 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe on Wednesday, said Sgt. John Foster, a spokesman for the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office. The driver of the vehicle, Heriberto Madrid, 29, of Laredo, is in federal custody on drug trafficking charges, Foster said. Settlement reached for man falsely imprisoned A Houston man who successfully sued the city of Houston in 2009 after he spent 17 years in prison wrongfully convicted of kidnapping and rape is expected to get the money he is owed, his attorney confirmed Thursday. George Rodriguez, who was freed in 2004 after an appeals court ruled he was convicted on faulty scientific evidence, won a $5 million verdict after showing chronic problems at HPD's long-troubled crime lab. Rodriguez's attorney, Barry Scheck of the New York-based Innocence Project, said the case spawned the report that detailed the systemic failures at the Houston Police Department Crime Lab. "The Rodriguez case was the case that led to the Bromwich report and the cleaning up of the HPD crime lab," Scheck said Thursday. "It's very important to George and his attorneys that nothing like this happen to anyone ever again."

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