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Compulsive discovery in Texas criminal prosecutions is far from the process guaranteed in the Sixth Amendment. Judges require a motion for production of exculpatory evidence before they will order the items turned over to defense attorneys for “just cause.” No arrest or offense reports are required to be presented, as well as lists of witnesses or their statements. Attorneys may only view the material and make handwritten notes at the discretion of the District Attorney as a matter of policy. But four defendants falsely accused and convicted of murder have recently been released after languishing behind prison bars for decades because prosecutors mislaid or withheld vital evidence. Some prosecutors have joined the defense bar in the hue and cry for change to the existing procedure.
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Watch this textbook example of a Texas peace officer seeking identification from a citizen on a city street:
The authority to detain on reasonable suspicion was established in Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S.1 (1968), and does not depend on the existence of a law that specifically authorizes such a detention, so that authority exists in all jurisdictions in the United States.
Section 38.02 of the Texas Penal Code requires a person who has been arrested, or is under restraint, to provide identification – on pain of being charged with a Class C misdemeanor upon refusal, or a Class B misdemeanor if found to have given a false name or identification.
One may read the full extent of the Texas law by following this link:
The conflict arises because mobile data terminals in police cruisers generate the makings of an offense and arrest report the moment an ID car is swiped. Like most cybernetic devices, the terminal is a self-compelling technology. It begs to be used in the detection of crime and the generation of reports.
Some persons are not authorized to carry firearms or deadly weapons, such as black powder revolvers replicated from the models produced prior to 1899. It can ruin a man’s whole day if he is shot by an assailant wielding a pre-1899 cap and ball black powder revolver.
Police are eager to determine if people they speak with are authorized to carry weapons, so they sometimes become insistent to see ID cards. – The Legendary
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