Happy 2015 from the Law Office of Mike Howard!
2015 brings some uncertainty to the world of criminal justice. In both Dallas and Tarrant counties we’ll be seeing a new District Attorney. In Dallas that certainly appears to mean a change in direction. Dallas DA Susan Hawk has promised some really good things: an expanded mental health division to more properly handle cases involving mental illness, the use of body cams on police officers to record citizen interactions, and doing what’s right rather than what’s easy. The assistant DAs I spoke to this morning were excited; one mentioned Hawk telling them to treat every case like it involved someone they knew personally – and that counted for both the alleged victim and the defendant. Prosecutors treating their alleged victims’ ordeals as if they hit home wouldn’t be anything new, but if prosecutors routinely let defendants’ circumstances it home, that would be very new.
It’s way too early to make any judgments, but let’s hope these early statements come to fruition!