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the plot sickens

"Mr. Banks, a man with no prior criminal record, is most likely innocent of the charge that put him on death row. Fearing a tragic miscarriage of justice, three former federal judges (including William Sessions, a former director of the F.B.I.) have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to block Wednesday's execution.

"So far, no one seems to be listening." [via atrios]
posted by donkeyschlong on Mar 11, 2003 - 15 comments

Trophy Boys

It's kind of weird how people in East Texas seem to have to "pose" with the debris, like it's a dead deer or a fishing trophy...
posted by sparky on Feb 3, 2003 - 53 comments

Two Towns of Jasper

Two segregated film crews, one black and one white, used the perspective of race to create a documentary centered on the dragging death of a black man by three whites five years ago in Jasper, Texas. The New York filmmakers behind the "Two Towns of Jasper" found the differences in perspective before filming began and the divide only grew more distinct during the two-year project. Premieres January 22nd on PBS and has already won multiple film awards.
posted by suprfli on Jan 20, 2003 - 13 comments

even his elbow joint was worn smooth and flat

mcwane incorporated
"It is said that only the desperate seek work at Tyler Pipe..."
the new york times has a 3 part (part 1, 2 and 3 u:dolface1/pwd:dolface1) special report on mcwane inc., a private company that is one of the largest manufacturers of cast iron sewer and water pipes in the world. it's a horror story right out of the early days of the industrial revolution; amputations, burns, death by crushing, disregard for the law and sheer indifference for human life that upset me more than anything i've read in quite a while.
osha seems unable to do much, what other options are available to workers when their companies won't protect them?
(warning: it's a long and sometimes unpleasant read)
posted by dolface on Jan 10, 2003 - 9 comments

U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider anti-homosexual laws

On September 17, 1998, in response to an armed robbery call, Houston police burst in to the home of John Lawrence. The police didn’t find a robber (nor would they – the call was deliberately false), but they did find Lawrence having sex with another man, Tyrone Garner. Lawrence and Garner were promptly charged with “engaging in homosexual conduct,” a misdemeanor under Texas law. They paid their fine and began a long legal challenge to Texas’ anti-sodomy law. That challenge has finally reached the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, which today agreed to hear their appeal early next year. Standing in the way is the Court’s own 1986 decision in Bowers v. Hardwick, in which it held that anti-sodomy laws are constitutional. That may be about to change.
posted by pardonyou? on Dec 2, 2002 - 43 comments

Dildos illegal in Texas???

Dildo's illegal in Texas? Apparently so. Let me get this straight... in a state where you can carry loaded firearms on your hip, if you get caught with more than 6 dildos or other "pleasure devices", it's a FELONY? Absolutely amazing. Texas is like a whole other country. It also helps explain a lot. (via obscurestore)
posted by Ynoxas on Nov 22, 2002 - 78 comments

Texas Prison Museum

Bread and Circuses The Texas Prison Museum as an odd mix of entertainment and education. If someone gives it $100 million will the prison museum unenroll from the Kroger Share Card Program and lose the value of 1% of participants' grocery purchases? A veritable treasure trove of the absurd and frightening. What's your favorite? Mine are the pavers. We could get up a collection for one from Metafilter. Who's with me?
posted by elgoose on Nov 19, 2002 - 2 comments

President To Author: Your Book Is Unpatriotic

President To Author: Your Book Is Unpatriotic " "The letter began by thanking me for sending the book," Hudson said. 'Also, I'm from Austin, Texas, and the president touched on the fact that I was a fellow Texan, congratulating me on my book. But he was setting me up for the one-two punch. Because he called the book unpatriotic and ridiculous and just plain bad writing. Beyond that, I've been instructed not to talk about the contents of the letter for the time being.'"
posted by owillis on Oct 30, 2002 - 31 comments

Have you grown weary of the tiny, grayscale maps of Iraq and the Middle East accompanying most newspaper stories on the region? TomPaine.com went in search of better geographic tools, and found them at the University of Texas' Online Library, with links to dozens of maps—political, topographical, historical—of a region many Americans have never scrutinized geographically. More inside... [via TomPaine.com]
posted by silusGROK on Oct 22, 2002 - 7 comments

"The 9-28-01 Critical Mass bike ride in Austin generated some controversy when a jeep driver intentionally ran over a cyclist and crashed into another car."
posted by monkeymike on Oct 1, 2002 - 125 comments

It's sad we lost, but the Mayor got what she had coming

It's sad we lost, but the Mayor got what she had coming This woman is an atrocity to the beautiful city of Dallas - she is grossly uncouth, lacks class, and is not fit for the position of mayor in one of the greatest cities in America. She made a bet on the Cowboys when they started the season with a game against the Houston Texans - and lost. The agreement was that if the 'boys won the game, the Mayor of Houston would wear a 'boys cap and jersey at a city hall meeting. Likewise and reciprocal from the herself. Yeah.
posted by JessicaRose on Sep 18, 2002 - 25 comments

Comic book retailer sentenced to jail for selling a book to an adult

Comic book retailer sentenced to jail for selling a book to an adult The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's lawyers are filing an appeal in the highest criminal court in Texas in the obscenity conviction of Jesus Castillo, manager of a Dallas comic book store. Castillo has received six months jail time, a year probation, and a $4000 fine. [more inside]
posted by dejah420 on Aug 21, 2002 - 36 comments

Girls seek "divorce" of lesbian mother

Girls seek "divorce" of lesbian mother The Scottish paper seems to take a fairly serious anti-gay stance, where as the report in the Houston Chronicle seems to be a little more factual and less hysterical. But, in either case, do children have the right to demand that their parents "stop being gay"?
posted by dejah420 on Aug 20, 2002 - 51 comments

Lesson learned in Houston, Texas yesterday: shop at a 24-hour Kmart in the middle of the night, go directly to jail. If you're a 10-year-old girl having a late dinner with your father at the next door Sonic, well, it's off to jail with you, too.
posted by ewagoner on Aug 19, 2002 - 103 comments

Heaven-or-hell argument ends with shotgun slaying

Heaven-or-hell argument ends with shotgun slaying
An argument over who was going to heaven and who was going to hell ended with one Texas man shooting another to death with a shotgun, police said Monday.
So now we'll never know who was right - or does murder 1 and effective suicide suggest a spell in the "other place"?
posted by zimbobzim on Jul 30, 2002 - 18 comments

"It is not an overstatement to describe the arrests in Tulia as an atrocity. The entire operation was the work of a single police officer who claimed to have conducted an 18-month undercover operation. The arrests were made solely on the word of this officer, Tom Coleman, a white man with a wretched work history, who routinely referred to black people as "niggers" and who frequently found himself in trouble with the law."
posted by artifex on Jul 29, 2002 - 29 comments

First there was the evolution in schools thing. Now, people are complaining about history books (in Texas no less), with such problems as "Margie Raborn said she wants all U.S. government books to describe the United States as a republic based on biblical beliefs."
posted by benjh on Jul 22, 2002 - 26 comments

During my long and mis-spent youth, I often spent time traveling the long dusty spaces between southern New Mexico and west Texas. There's a wide patch in the road called Orogrande, New Mexico, a virtual ghost town. I've always wondered why there'd even be a town in the middle of the desert and nowhere. Now I know why. Forgive the numerous pop-ups (and occassional ad for boobies) won't you? This is a tremendous resource for those interested.
posted by WolfDaddy on Jul 16, 2002 - 17 comments

"Four years after father's dragging death, Ross Byrd speaks about his change of heart over executions."

"Four years after father's dragging death, Ross Byrd speaks about his change of heart over executions." James Byrd Jr., was tied to the back of a pickup with logging chain, then dragged along a Texas country road until his body fell apart. White supremacist John W. King was one of two men sentenced to death for Byrd's murder. "On Wednesday, Ross Byrd traveled to the state prison in Huntsville to lead a 24-hour fast and prayer vigil on King's behalf. 'When I heard King had exhausted his appeals, I began thinking, `How can this help me or solve my pain?' and I realized it couldn't,' Byrd said."

So much for retribution. Instead of yet another senseless execution (this next to be performed with 18-gauge intravenous needle in lieu of logging chain), ponder a possible healing...a rebirth...crystallizing from the son of a murdered black man saving the life of his father's racist killer.
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Jul 5, 2002 - 57 comments

Textbook Publishers Learn to Avoid Messing With Texas.

Textbook Publishers Learn to Avoid Messing With Texas. "Out of Many," the work of four respected historians, is one of the biggest sellers among American history college textbooks in the United States, but it is not likely to be available to Texas high school students taking advanced placement history. Conservative groups in Texas objected to two paragraphs in the nearly 1,000-page text that explained that prostitution was rampant in cattle towns during the late 19th century, before the West was fully settled.
posted by ncurley on Jun 30, 2002 - 24 comments

"Corporate sleaze carves into our trust,"

"Corporate sleaze carves into our trust," says Dan Gilmore of the San Jose Mercury News. Sheer greed, not CIA meddling, may indeed be the motive. NameBase investigates the social networks of these perps in Lies, Damned Lies, and Enron. "It appears that unlike the BCCI scandal, there are no major spook connections with Enron. What we have here, apparently, is an assortment of talented wheelin', dealin', cheatin' Texas oil cowboys. "
posted by sheauga on Jun 29, 2002 - 4 comments

Your quote of the day: "She said harm should not be presumed just because the lawyer 'intermittently dozed and actually fell asleep.'" Because, y'know, the inmate's only on Death Row in Texas.
posted by solistrato on Jun 3, 2002 - 24 comments

Killer to be executed

Killer to be executed even though victim's mother requested a commuted sentence to life imprisonment. Shouldn't family members of the victim have some sort of say in whether a convicted killer should be executed or not? Especially when they are against the execution of the perpetrator?

Just an add-on toThe Texas Conveyor Belt of Death thread from yesterday.
posted by da5id on May 21, 2002 - 18 comments

"The Texas conveyor belt of death rolls on.

"The Texas conveyor belt of death rolls on. Against international law, three Texas inmates face imminent execution for murders committed when they were children. Since 1998, Texas has killed five child offenders - people who were under 18 at the time of the crimes. If Napoleon Beazley, TJ Jones and Toronto Patterson are put to death on 28 May, 8 August, and 28 August respectively, Texas will have executed as many child offenders in a four-month period as Iran, the next worst perpetrator outside the USA, has carried out in the whole of the past decade."

Ha! Yet another area where them loser Axis of Evil® fellas ain't up to the standards of the good ol' U.$. of A.
posted by fold_and_mutilate on May 20, 2002 - 124 comments

During Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's visit to Crawford, Texas, this week, his representatives asked the FAA for his flights to be worked only by male air traffic controllers, according to today's Dallas Morning News.
posted by rcade on Apr 27, 2002 - 13 comments

ACLU files a lawsuit on behalf of black gay prisoner Roderick Johnson against several Texas prisons who ignored his pleas for protection against gangs who "bought and sold Mr. Johnson as a chattel, raped and degraded him on a virtual daily basis, and threatened him with death if he resisted." During one hearing, Johnson was allegedly forced by a prison gang member to appear before the committee in makeup. This invited the alleged derision of the classification committee members: "If you want to be a ho, you'll be treated like a ho." Another member allegedly said, "You ain't nothing but a dirty tramp. Learn to fight or accept the f--king."
posted by ao4047 on Apr 19, 2002 - 72 comments

Here's something you don't see every day..

Here's something you don't see every day.. The north Texas radio station KVIL 103.7FM has a traffic copter which has flown nearly every weekday without fail for years. It's a regular sight in the sky for Dallas commuters. This morning, it became traffic. Engine failure led to an emergency landing on a city street. Avoiding power lines and oncoming traffic, the pilot lost the tail rotor assembly but otherwise landed his copter intact. A near catastrophe was averted by a very capable, steely-eyed missile man of a pilot. The three reporters in the copter with the pilot suffered only minor injuries. A very lucky day. It coulda been a lot worse.
posted by ZachsMind on Apr 11, 2002 - 12 comments

Profile of Henderson County, TX.

Profile of Henderson County, TX. Seems that everyone is smoking dope and beating their families. If you have run into trouble with the law in Cattarragus County, NY you may be on this list. Or it could be that you know a current resident of this facility. If your picture is shown here then you probably better steer clear of Illinois.
posted by Stretch on Mar 28, 2002 - 0 comments

Life, not Death

Life, not Death for Ms. Yates. And, Texas doesn't have a no-parole sentence, so she'll be eligible for release. Where does she go from there?
posted by dwivian on Mar 15, 2002 - 33 comments

The Battle Over Bush's Gov. Papers.

The Battle Over Bush's Gov. Papers. What are they hiding? Executive order blocking Presidential papers, refusing to turn over Energy Taskforce member list, and now this! There must be something to hide. But what?!?!?
posted by bas67 on Feb 11, 2002 - 10 comments

Welcome to Fort Bend County, Texas,

Welcome to Fort Bend County, Texas, and the city of Sugar Land, where the congressman is Majority Whip Tom Delay, many of the homes are in the million dollar range, a resident WAS a suicidal Enron executive, and the Chair of the Republican Party is also an Enron spokesman. Oh yes and I almost forgot - The Taliban have been here too. I think I need to move.
posted by Scorch on Jan 30, 2002 - 12 comments

Ex Enron Vice Chair Commits Suicide

Ex Enron Vice Chair Commits Suicide J. Clifford Baxter was found dead in his car in a Houston suburb Firday. Texas police said the cause of death was suicide.
posted by Lanternjmk on Jan 25, 2002 - 40 comments

Ashcroft and the entire U.S. attorney's office in Houston recuse themselves from the Enron investigation.

Ashcroft and the entire U.S. attorney's office in Houston recuse themselves from the Enron investigation. Even more noteworthy is Arthur Andersen's admission that they destroyed documents related to Enron between September and November of last year. Was AA attempting to hide the fact that they looked the other way on their audits? What does this say for investor faith in the audit process? And, if there was impropriety should Andersen be held just as liable as Enron's execs?
posted by Vek on Jan 10, 2002 - 4 comments

In what seems to be a major turnaround for the state, Texas may not be seeking the death penatly against Andrea Yates, who drowned her five children in a bathtub. They're bargaining for a guilty plea; should she take the deal? Or, does she actually deserve death?
posted by Yelling At Nothing on Jan 8, 2002 - 90 comments

This man

This man and this man will be working together next year. Think this man is feeling better about his decision to quit?
posted by yerfatma on Dec 18, 2001 - 22 comments

It's beginning to look a lot like Dick Armey will not pursue re-election!

It's beginning to look a lot like Dick Armey will not pursue re-election! In a potential shake-up to Texas and national politics, House Majority Leader Dick Armey is telling congressional colleagues that he doubts he will run for re-election, one of the Flower Mound Republican's closest confidants said Monday. Rumor has it he will make his announcement on C-SPAN's Washington Journal.
posted by Carol Anne on Dec 11, 2001 - 17 comments

Bush woos Putin at his Texas ranch

Bush woos Putin at his Texas ranch - after apparently failing to come to a consensus about the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. Good for Bush for getting his diplomacy on, but -- I'm wondering how popular the proposed American missile-defense system is with members of the Metafilter community. If it means scrapping the ABM... is it worth it?
posted by SilentSalamander on Nov 15, 2001 - 37 comments

Maybe

Maybe evolution never happened. And maybe industry doesn't cause pollution and population growth is no problem. At least that's what they're teaching kids in Alabama and Texas (and maybe your state as well).
posted by conquistador on Nov 9, 2001 - 108 comments

Oops.

Oops. So, the governor of Texas appoints you as the new point-man for domestic safety in the state. Some say it's pay-back for staying out of the Republican Senate primary (where the governor's friend is running) and deciding to run for Lt. Governor. Despite some criticism, you run a four-page glossy ad in a Texas magazine touting your qualifications for Lt. Governor, including your recent appointment as the Texas anti-terrorism czar. The ad features a waving American flag and a patriotic soldier. Only one problem: it's a German soldier.
posted by conquistador on Oct 26, 2001 - 15 comments

Bush and bin's brother linked

Bush and bin's brother linked - Toronto Sun Headline: Bin Laden's Brother was Bush's Biz Partner, Pair started texas oil firm. There is no story online however, just the front page. Anybody else hear about this? Field's Dangerous places says in its bio of bin Laden that a brother, Salim, was killed in a hang glider accident in Texas in 1989.
posted by PMcCann on Sep 24, 2001 - 23 comments

Retaliation Starts

Retaliation Starts A mosque in Irving, TX came under gunfire in the early hours of this morning just before Muslims gathered for the early morning (first) prayer of the day.
posted by adnanbwp on Sep 12, 2001 - 34 comments

Accordion Dreams

Accordion Dreams is a great new PBS show that I just got to see a preview of on my local Texas station. Try to catch it when it comes out nationally on August 30.
posted by bjgeiger on Aug 21, 2001 - 5 comments

What? The sky isn't falling! It's just an acorn!

What? The sky isn't falling! It's just an acorn! John Kelso, Austin's foremost professional Texan, writes today about the Austin-California grudge match. (In Austin, it's de rigeur to blame the Cal-dot-commers-cum-Texans for the city's growing pains. It's also a tad accurate.) He also gripes about a silly SF gate Flash site where you can turn the lights out on Austin. The guy's a crank -- and he can't write a column without mentioning Bubbas, chili, or vegetarians -- but this is a perfect example of Texas' head-in-the-sand attitude towards a possible energy crisis. And the rest of the country's, maybe.
posted by mudbug on Jul 27, 2001 - 23 comments

So much for grocery shopping online...

So much for grocery shopping online... The last online grocer in Texas, Grocery Works, threw in the towel.
posted by ZachsMind on Jun 26, 2001 - 8 comments

Kill your five children, go to jail.

Kill your five children, go to jail. So, what to do to a mother that decides not to be a mother any more?
posted by dwivian on Jun 20, 2001 - 39 comments

Highway to Hell

Highway to Hell billboard depicts Satan giving McVeigh his lethal injection. This is an advertisement for the same Dallas radio station that employs the DJs responsible for the recent Spears/Timberlake car-crash rumor. What's the difference between political propaganda and savvy demographic pandering? Via davezilla.com
posted by johnnyace on Jun 18, 2001 - 16 comments

Texan Teen Lands $550 Fine For Saying 'F*ck'

Texan Teen Lands $550 Fine For Saying 'F*ck' The US school system certainly seems to over-react to small issues (drawing guns on paper, etc). Will this keep American from turning into violent thugs, or not? Recently, in the UK, a man got let off for saying 'f*ck off' to a policeman, since the judge said it was 'the language of his generation'.
posted by wackybrit on Jun 8, 2001 - 29 comments

Danger! Idiot Judge Lives Here!

Danger! Idiot Judge Lives Here! In Corpus Christi, Texas, a judge has ordered 21 sex offenders to post signs in their yards that read "Danger! Registered Sex Offender Lives Here," and bumper stickers on their cars that read "Danger! Registered Sex Offender in Vehicle." Many people are reacting favorably, such as the person who believes "I think the judge is correct and he should make the signs bigger." But if these people are truly dangerous, why did they receive probation instead of jail time?
posted by jameschandler on May 21, 2001 - 23 comments

And now for something really depressing

And now for something really depressing - the Texas Department of Criminal Justice maintains a database including the 'last statements' of all inmates executed since 1982.
posted by OneBallJay on May 2, 2001 - 32 comments

Texas gets good deal on Bush tax plan..

Texas gets good deal on Bush tax plan.. my state and many others lose....Do I move to Texas or pay more to avoid it?
posted by Postroad on Apr 17, 2001 - 7 comments

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