Houston computer glitch leads to hundreds being released from jail, shines light on bigger issue


HOUSTON (Nexstar) — A computer system method glitch in Houston led to the release of hundreds of people today remaining held in jails there on Wednesday.

The glitch stored folks who experienced been arrested waiting in custody for much more than two days, devoid of owning their case processed. That is extended than state legislation will allow, main to these defendants becoming released.

At minimum a person choose blamed a backlog in scenarios, generating it practically unachievable to keep defendants any lengthier.
That attracts focus to a bigger statewide concern.

You could expect an regular of 186 felony jury trials to be held throughout Texas each week right before the pandemic. In 2020, that variety dropped to four. This is according to Texas 2036, a nonprofit that tracks this type of info to enable with facts-inspired methods.

“The pandemic clearly, retained us from resolving circumstances for a yr and a fifty percent or so,” Hays County District Lawyer Wes Mau claimed.

Mau said all courts at several levels throughout the condition are now actively playing catchup with little area for mistake or program glitches, like Houston noticed, introducing to its all round backlog.

Texas lawmakers are carrying out some driving-the-scenes operate to deal with how to velocity up that approach, but that could get up to five many years in accordance to Texas 2036.

“It’s not everything that is going to be simply just fixed by making courts, more judges … it’s going to choose a ton of doing work on efficiencies on people circumstances,” mentioned Joe Moody, District 78 state consultant.

Moody is the vice chair of the interim committee on criminal justice reform. He’s prepping for the upcoming legislative session and said addressing the court docket backlog is major of thoughts.

“If folks want to be in that process, we recognize that. But if they really do not need to be there, let us figure out how to monitor them out,” Moody said. “And let’s make certain that we’re not clogging the process unnecessarily, so that when we have unprecedent activities like this, it doesn’t build a crisis.”

Increasing technological innovation could be one way to tackle the courtroom backlogs. Previous session, lawmakers accredited spending a fifty percent-million bucks every single fiscal 12 months to employ a engineering modernization application.

The funding could raise over and above $4 million for each year dependent on how successful the program is at reducing court docket backlogs.


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