Thanks to television and movies, most people think that forensic evidence can pinpoint a murderer's actions and identity with laser-like precision. The grim reality is that there's a lot of flawed forensics going on in the nation's labs -- particularly in Houston.
What exactly is constructive drug possession?
Just about everybody these days knows that a felony conviction can follow you well into the future, affecting such diverse things as whether or not you can vote or own a gun, where you can live and what sort of job you can get.
Most people are familiar with the idea of a plea bargain: they're essentially a deal between the prosecution and the defense that resolves a criminal case before it goes to trial. But is this kind of deal really a bargain for the defendant?
A Texas surgeon has made legal history, but not in a good way: As far as anyone knows, he's the first doctor ever to be charged criminally for surgical mistakes.
In Texas, the difference between a charge of simple assault and aggravated assault is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony.
It seems like nearly everybody knows something about DNA. What they don't learn in high school science classes, they learn from the media and popular television crime dramas, and the knowledge they walk away with seems to always echo the same sentiment: DNA is infallible.
There's been a big shake-up at the Harris County, Texas, prosecutor's office as incoming district attorney, Kim Ogg, handed out more than three dozen pink slips to some of the top prosecutors. The total represents a little more than 10 percent of the overall staff and a big change in managerial style.
The judge in a recent Texas murder case took a step so unusual that he noted that it was the first time he'd done it in 27 years on the bench: He instructed the jury that any evidence not saved or properly produced by the prosecution could be considered unfavorable to the state.
Although many things can seem uncertain to any individual in Texas who is arrested and subsequently charged with a crime in state or federal court, the sheer magnitude of resources readily available to investigators and prosecutors is not one of them.