Non-Prosecution of Texas Youth Commission Offenses a Pattern
There have been pretty horrible revelations about abuse in the Texas Youth Commission prison facilities. The entire board has been required to resign, and allegations are that complaints have been ignored, and reports of officers who constantly kept individual inmates alone inside their locked offices for long periods of time were ignored.
The old adage that justice delayed is justice denied is hideously proved true in this case.
Perry spokesman Ted Royer said Tuesday that in June 2005 no one in the governor's office would have believed the prosecutor would sit on the case for 18 more months.
"From the communication we received, there was no reason to believe that due process was not moving forward as it should have," the spokesman said.
Turner's chief of staff, Alison Brock, said she contacted Royal after learning about the West Texas case because she thought he would pursue it. Brock on Tuesday said Royal told her he was unaware of the West Texas case when she called.
Royal at that point started calling the Texas Ranger who investigated the case, the Ward County district attorney and the state attorney general's office. He got the prosecutor to ask the attorney general's office to prosecute the case Jan. 17.
Perry did not designate a cleanup of the problems at the TYC until after news reports of sexual and physical abuse in the system started appearing Feb. 18. Perry has blamed Ward County District Attorney Randall Reynolds for not prosecuting the cases.
Today, the reports are coming out that prosecution was simply not happening in at least one of the facilities, leaving inmates defenseless and at the mercy of their abusers.
A West Texas prosecutor at the center of a scandal about sexual abuse allegations at a state-run juvenile jail has disputed contentions that his office has failed to prosecute felony cases.
In a written statement to the Pecos Enterprise, Randall W. Reynolds, whose office handles felony prosecutions in Reeves, Ward and Loving counties, said about half of the cases handled by his office from 2005 to 2006 resulted in plea bargains.
But an Associated Press analysis, showed that Mr. Reynolds did not prosecute about 90 percent of the 128 cases filed in Ward County and 83 percent of the 210 cases filed in Reeves County. In Loving County, the state's least populous, only one felony case was filed.
Mr. Reynolds has been criticized for failing to take action on allegations of sexual abuse at the West Texas State School in Ward County. He declined comment, saying he could not talk about a pending case. [emphasis added]
There are long disgraceful traditions in the south of 'courthouse gang' behavior, and this fits the bill. Personal beliefs and prejudices should never keep the law from being enforced.
With the situation of this nature in mind, I would like to point out that our experience with the cretin in chief's firing of able and well-respected prosecutors appears all the more vile in view of the damage some of them appear to have done.
When we have the head of the Department of Justice and his boss using the mechanics of that justice system to promote politics, it is a sleazy operation. This instance of abuse points out in very real terms the kind of 'justice' that is involved.
We badly need to clean house in more places than the TYC. The White House has far more impact than this Texas abuse. Retirement of the governing officials in our Executive Branch would provide a great start for the cleanup we need at DoJ.