Criminal law

Why was Terran Green out of bond? Local experts explain bail reform in Harris County – Houston to the public


After a confrontation that left three other officers injured, Terran Greene was arrested The shooting of Harris County Deputy Sheriff Joseph Anderson early Friday morning. Green barricaded himself in a home in northeast Houston and for five hours Thursday night, he and the police had a confrontation.

Green has now been charged with three counts of attempted murder. The original shooting took place on Wednesday, when Anderson was shot during a traffic stop.

But even before the shooting, Green had multiple criminal convictions and was out on bail while facing other charges and skipping a court date. That left some Houstonians wondering why he was out on bond and whether that decision had anything to do with the county’s bail reform efforts.

Harris County Commissioner 2, former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, and criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Murray Newman, who is also president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, joined Houston Matters on Friday.

Garcia began by saying that he had visited Officer Anderson, who was alert and talking “joking and laughing”.

“He is clearly in a lot of pain. But I reminded him that this pain is a good thing because it makes him know that he is still here with us.”

green, As reported by Houston Public Media, was convicted of prior felony offenses dating back to 2007, including robbery, arrest evasion, drug possession, and aggravated assault. There was a warrant out for his arrest because he missed a court date for felony weapon possession and another aggravated assault charge. Garcia said he was restricted, but held accountable.

“Judges review the information they have. They make decisions. In the end, he is held accountable. The investments we’ve made in the courts have shown that people like him get through their day in court,” Garcia said. “…But you have to remember, yes, he He violated the terms of his bond, but we were looking for him. So it wasn’t as if no one had paid attention to the fact that he had violated the terms of his bail. He was on the list of the Task Force on Violent People.

Newman said judges often set a higher bail, or deny it altogether, in cases involving aggravated crime and those involving weapons and serious injuries.

“But it is very limited when a judge can reject the bonds all together. These are very limited circumstances and there are procedures that the court and the prosecutor’s office must follow if they are going to hold someone without bail. But as Commissioner Garcia pointed out, when he didn’t show up a warrant was issued for his arrest,” Newman said. He added, “So the court did everything they could, and the law enforcement authorities did everything they could to get this man back into custody.”

Garcia also said Harris County has enacted bail reform efforts in recent years that have focused on nonviolent and low-level misdemeanor offenses. But this was not the case with Green.

“This is in relation to a felony for which bail reform has not been enacted. “There has never been a vote on bail reform on the felony side and on the violent crime side,” Garcia said. “The only bail reform that has happened is for those, the misdemeanours, those who have committed non-violent crimes. … Despite the misinformation that some have tried to spread, no reform of criminal bail has been implemented.”

Newman said he doesn’t think the general public fully understands the difference between nonviolent misdemeanor crimes and violent felonies when it comes to the public debate surrounding the bail system.

“And I think that part of it is because there are really segments of the political community trying to spread misinformation about that,” Newman said. “The bond reform which everyone has been so outraged about was only applicable to the misdemeanor side of things. There may be a tiered effect and extent of its impact on felonies cases. But there is no litigation following them which has changed anything as to the manner in which judges ought to deal with bond.

Newman added that he did not support seeing a modification of judges’ authority over coherence in violent crime cases.

“Because at the end of the day, when someone is accused of a crime, that crime has a title, whether it’s aggravated assault, attempted capital murder, what have you. “And that doesn’t necessarily explain the circumstances behind the crime itself,” Newman said.

He used the example of a former client of his.

“I had a client a year or so ago, accused of murder, which sounds awful. But in the end it was a young man who got scared of his stepfather, who was so violent, he shot him in self-defence. In the end, that case was dismissed in On the day of the trial and fortunately, he was out on bail as he was well on bail.” “And it would have been a travesty if, for example, there had been a law that no one accused of murder should be allowed out on bail. So no, I do not endorse any kind of cookie cutter application of criminal law. It usually doesn’t work well.”


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