Justice, Texas Style.

At least 12 people were scheduled to be released this afternoon from jail. They’ve not been exonerated, but due to the most INCREDIBLE dishonest illegal flat-out perjurous claims made by one Tom Coleman of Tulia, Texas these people got to spend some time in jail.

On total lies. Drug-dealin’ lies, the kinda lies that make men get convicted for 90 years. Men like Joe Moore, a pig farmer of 60. Arrested from his tawdry shack of a house, accused of being a drug kingpin and convicted of same.

See, down in Texas, having District Judge Ron Chapman release these people and recommend that ALL of their convictions be thrown out just isn’t good enough. You need to run such a thing by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

These people are’t cleared but they were released on bail, POST-CONVICTION. Now, that is rare indeed. It took an act of the Texas Legislature to pass a bill allowing the release of the prisoners on bail.

Seems that no amount of overwhelming evidence is enough. Once these scourges of society (ahem) were captures in a “deep undercover” investigation and arrested, they were all railroaded through the judicial system. Two weeks ago, Governor Rick Perry signed the bill that permitted Judge Chapman to release these poor people.

Indeed, sometimes innocent people DO wind up behind bars. For ( in some cases in this situation ) 90 years. Apparently no drugs, guns OR money were found when the original 48 people were arrested by this Tom Coleman. After the first few trials resulted in 90+ year sentences, the rest figured they were foregone conclusions, and made deals for lesser sentences than the 90+ years that had already been handed out. Even though they were absolutely innocent. And everybody knew it.

The various branches of Texas State government have all admitted that these people were railroaded, and almost all branches have done what they can to move to release these people on bail. The decision has not been made yet whether to call the final disposition of the cases a Pardon, a Clemency or some other kind of disposition of similar positive finality.

And yet…they sit out and wait. Now free on bail. Because even though the rest of the entire State Government including Governor Rick Perry feels that a terrible wrong has been done, it doesn’t mean squat.

It is well possible that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals will re-incarcerate all of these people for the full duration of their sentences. Because they can.

Me, I find this to be pretty darned horrible. I will watch the news tonight to see if perhaps some sanity has rained down upon these people. It must be intoxicating to know you can defy your Governor and State Legislature, and just do what the heck you wanna do with people’s lives. I do seriously hope that the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals blinks, and sees the gravity of the situation and completely wipes out the records of these people. Who have done jail time. For the crime of being arrested by a proven liar. Named Tom Coleman of Tulia, Texas.


The names and facts cited are from The New York Times, Monday June 16th, 2003 Page A-19. " Partway To Freedom", by Bob Herbert.


C.N.N. covers the story today, validating the facts used above.

36 of the 48 people convicted were of color. :rolleyes: How sad, that the man who caused this all is absolutely convinced that he was right in his perjurious statements, his illegal and immoral arrests and testimonies, and believes that this situation simply puts more drug dealers back onto the streets of Tulia.

My god.

Ah, Tulia, Texas. I spent entirely too much time there in my youth; mother was born in Happy, TX and her mom moved to Tulia following my grandfather’s death 30+ years ago. I visited Tulia five years ago, for my grandmother’s funeral (she died at 99), and swore I’d never go back. Ever.

As for the OP’s story - it’s Texas, guys. As in, the last state to abolish slavery. I grew up listening to my dad’s mother (living in Texarkana) refer to her maid as “my nigger”. She loved her housemaid, who had worked for her for many many years – it just never struck her that the statement was horrible and racist.

Deep South mentality, hopefully it’s changing – but I’ll willing to bet it’s not happening tomorrow. Very sad, since I’ve lived in this state my entire life.

This is very sad.
Don’t judge the whole of Texans by the acts of a few.

The Tulia Twelve is just one more gross example of Justice in Texas.

I am overjoyed that they are free. Enjoy it though, because it can be taken away at a whim.

I pondered beginning a Pit thread about this. I heard about it on NPR this afternoon.

The story is disgusting. :mad: ISTM the term “ethnic cleansing” isn’t too far off the mark.

Texas Justice :rolleyes: The US Justice Dept. needs to air drop a couple divisions of attorneys to investigate Swisher Co. Texas.

I, too, read the column by Bob Herbert that Cartooniverse cited. I’ve read a number of other pieces on this travesty, but if I recall corrrectly, it was Hebert who said, speaking of the 60 year old hog farmer, that he looked at the old guy’s delapidated shack, and thought, this guy is supposed to be a drug kingpin?

Don’t govt officials realize how bad it makes them look when they delay and shilly-shally and postpone, and keep people in jail for weeks or months after it’s been established that a mistake was made and the person (or in this case, the people) was not guilty after all? How clueless can you get?

Fear not. My best friend’s from Texas. Born, bred and resides. That wasn’t my intention.

However, from all of the evidence presented so far, you kind of have to admit that those Texans drawing a paycheck in either the criminal justice or jurisprudence systems REAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLY need a close looking-at.

Ya know. Just in case. Not that New York is devoid of atrocity either, but this one caught my eye and craw yesterday. I didn’t post into the Pit on this for two reasons. 1. I’m self-banned out of the BBQ Pit. 2. I wanted to get a dialogue going that wasn’t a pure flame war. Anyone live down there in or near Tulia who is very familiar with this case? Anyone know the law enforcement officer in question?

I have said it before and I will say it again: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is a complete disgrace, the worst court in the entire nation.

Well, they were released. Yes, they spent three years in prison. Yet just yesterday I read where three black men (in a state other than Texas) were released from prison after17 years! on a rape charge. I’ll dig for a cite. These men were sentenced by false testimony, too. It may or may not have been as malicious as Tom Coleman’s, but it was proven they were innocent.

So justice “Texas Style” would appear to mean that the people wrongly accused were set free. And something I have not seen in this thread is


That from This Site.

Seems as though the Texas legislature has stepped in to expedite the process. Trying, it would seem, to help the wrongfully imprisoned people out of prison quickly.

So I’m not throwing anybody a rope. What happened in Tulia was wrong. And it is in the process of being turned around. Tom Coleman will almost certainly do time, and you can bet it won’t be pleasant time given the vendetta he has displayed.

There has been a pit thread on this. Almost a year old now.

I happen to agree with minty about the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals BTW. Any Texans should make note that these are actually ELECTED judges and some of them can be tossed out next election. Three of their terms end in 2004 and a three more in 2006. This page gives a short bio of each including when their terms are up and the names we should all remember NOT to select on our next trip to the ballot box. At this point I’m thinking it isn’t really possible to have a devil worse than the one we know.


Sorry, Duke. You’re putting words into my mouth and Pit or no Pit, that’s not so cool, okay?

I made it clear that while almost all of the rest of the elected officials involved are doing everything they can to expedite this situation, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is the real evil here. And yes, they’re in Texas. And yes my Title of this thread is accurate, in that context. Pity you’re struggling with my O.P… Might I suggest a second reading?

Additionally, I surely didn’t mean to say that this is the only State in the United States where such atrocities take place. However, this singular group, the T.C.O.C.A., is rather unique and so was the catalyst for this thread.

I hope each of those folks has an excellent attorney. They’re going to need one now more than ever. Rather than admit wholesale malfeasance, the T.C.O.C.A. may indeed simply incarcerate all 12 for the duration of their sentences, horrible an idea as that may be.

Won’t be the first time that absolute power has corrupted absolutely, won’t be the last. But it will happen this time in a rather bright glare of public scrutiny. That doesn’t mean the T.C.O.C.A. has to give a rat’s patootie about public scrutiny.

They were indeed elected. They will indeed be elected again. I’ve no doubt in the least.

I’m not sure the Feds should be considered the high ground here. I seem to recall some injustices on behalf of the federal government. This whole thing has been a horrible miscarriage of justice and it is extremely upsetting that the mechanism for remedying it is so slow and so reluctant. I’m glad the legislature is taking steps, and I am also glad the public eye has been turned on it. It seems to be another case where justice is blind, but works best in the light.


Many apologies, ** Cartooniverse **. In retrospect I shouldn’t have used the quotations around “Texas Style” and made it look like I was picking on you. I agree with your post! It was the dog pile of “It’s Texas, what do you expect?” posts that follow that get my ire up.

My point, as well as that of the OP, is that while these people were wrongly convicted, the State of Texas did an end-around on the T.C.O.C.A. and released 12 people from prison without the usual lengthy proceedings.

They are free today (I admit I didn’t notice the date on your post…the article in my previous cite is dated today). I seriously doubt that any of them will be going back to prison, and Judge Chapman has set their bonds as personal recognizance. I don’t think any of them will have any trouble finding a lawyer, I can’t imagine any of the defendants not suing for this ordeal. They could likely end up quite well paid for their time in prison.

I was, obviously poorly, trying to say that “Style” might be construed as getting these poor people out of prison ASAP without the intervention of the T.C.O.C.A. and with no monetary bond.

Sorry that I appeared to picking on you.

The thing that is most unbelievable in this story is that all of those people were convicted on the word of 1 man. No other evidence was presented at all. :eek:

Who the heck were the jury members ? These are the people that need to flogged in the town square. IMO

The thing that is most unbelievable in this story is that all of those people were convicted on the word of 1 man. No other evidence was presented at all. :eek:

Who the heck were the jury members ? These are the people that need to flogged in the town square. IMO

IMO All of the jury members , judges, and prosecution team members should spend the next 3 years in jail.

Tulia jury recipe:
Two parts “respect for law-and-order” attitude
Two parts self-reinforcing group fear
One part racism
One part classism
Three parts “War on Drugs” hysteria

Pour into wooden box
Mix well in secrecy
Bake in the North Texas sun

As our own Blonde has cited, Tulia is apparently a town that Time forgot.

*Originally Posted by *Southerner


A total WAG is that they’re all white folk. Who happen to think just like Blonde’s Gramma. Who will believe a white cop over a civillian of color ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.

As I’ve noted earlier in this thread, New York City is also infamous for this kind of dynamic; I’m not trying to paint Texas with a unique brush. In this town, and with this cop, apparently things sat pretty well with that jury.

I hope none of them can hold their head up in their town now. Then again, maybe they all sleep extremely well at night. :frowning:

p.s. No sweat, Duke of Rat. Thanks. :slight_smile:

HEY! :frowning: