Austin Justice

A criminal justice blog by Attorney Kiele Linroth Pace

The truth is not polite.

I’ve been on my soapbox again lately about the unpleasant topic of police misconduct. The fact is that some cops are bullies who lie, cheat, and oppress citizens in the name of upholding the law. This bad behavior isn’t particularly rare and it isn’t even a secret. A recent change in Texas law is giving criminal defense attorneys even greater access to evidence and information gathered in the course of criminal investigations than we […]

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Austin’s Ordinance Banning “Driving With Hand-Held Electronics” Takes Effect January 1, 2015

In Austin, it will soon be a violation of city ordinance to use hand-held electronic devices while driving or cycling. Distracted driving is a legitimate concern but I’m not sure it’s a good idea to give police officers yet another means to have “reasonable suspicion” for stopping drivers who aren’t actually violating any traffic laws. It’s still perfectly legal to eat, smoke and adjust the radio while driving, after all.

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Remembering 9/11

‎9/11 was a double tragedy. Beyond the obvious tragedy of lost lives, it was the beginning of a steady erosion of our system of constitutional rights. Benjamin Franklin said that he who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither. Growing up, I could never have imagined that the people of our nation would one day tolerate being groped as a “security” measure to ride an airplane. Nor would I have believed […]

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Contempt of Cop

The Statesman is reporting today that three UT football players were arrested on Sixth Street for “failure to obey a lawful order.” If you’re thinking that sounds like a military crime or something out of an Orwellian dystopia, think again.  Although there is no such crime in the Texas Penal Code, there actually is a City of Austin Ordinance that states that a person commits a criminal offense if he […]

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