The National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) has produced a training program on DVD that’s available for free to prosecutors who request it. The topic is “Preparing and Presenting DNA Evidence.” (As funding permits, NDAA will produce more such training disks, and TDCAA will alert you to their availability in the future.)
Astute readers of this publication will remember that we introduced Jen Matney as our new meeting planner in the last issue. It turns out that Jen’s husband, Andrew, was transferred out of state for his job, so Jen left us for the considerably colder climes of Colorado. D’oh!
But through some magical stroke of luck and legwork, we found another fantastic meeting planner in a New York minute: Manda Helmick, who comes to TDCAA by way of Chicago and Manhattan.
Since our launch of the redesigned TDCAA website in mid-November, we’ve gotten lots of feedback, most of it complimentary. Our goal was to make the site more user-friendly (both for our members and for our staff, who must maintain the site), streamlined, and foxier. We hope you agree that we’ve succeeded.
We’ve fielded a few common questions since the launch, and we wanted to provide answers in a wide forum.
What happened to all of those sample forms that were in the Forms & Briefs sections of the old website?
On March 25, Texas prosecutors lost an irreplaceable ally with the death of State Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Paul. Those of us fortunate enough to count him as a friend lost something even more significant. Matthew’s unique combination of brilliance, humility, fairness, warmth, and humor will be sorely missed by his friends and family.
On April 17, the Harris County Commissioner’s Court presented a proclamation to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Division recognizing its 30th anniversary. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett presented the proclamation to Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal and Division Director Amy Smith. Also on hand to celebrate this milestone were former Harris County District Attorney Carol Vance and first Division Director Suzanne McDanie.
At the 2007 Texas Crime Victim Clearinghouse (TxCVC) conference in Austin, Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley received the 2007 Danny Hill Award as an outstanding prosecutor upholding victims’ rights. The award is presented each year to a prosecutor who shows special attention to the needs of victims of crime.
During the presentation, Raven Kazen, director of victim services for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice highlighted Bradley’s work as President of the Board of Directors for the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center and his constant sensitivity to victims’ needs. Bradley also has recently created a parole protest task force to provide key information to the parole board for the denial of early release of inmates who have been convicted of and sentenced for violent crimes. (See page 20 for an article on that task force.)