Archive for the ‘Craig Watkins’ Category

Craig Watkins on The View

April 29, 2009

My barber gave me the heads up that Dallas DA (and fellow customer) Craig Watkins was going to be on “The View” sometime soon. Thanks to Jennifer Emily of the DMN, I found out it was tomorrow.

We were talking about what’s next for Craig. The only show left is Oprah.

There’s always good info in the barbershop – some things never change.

The barbershop:

Where

happens

Cutting the DA’s Budget is a Big Mistake

February 24, 2009

This article, which talks about the Dallas County Commissioners pushing Craig Watkins to cut money and staffing in his office, is quite troubling.

When crime goes up and families can’t get closure because violent offenders can’t get prosecuted, most of the commissioners will be AWOL and silent. They will let Craig take any heat for having to release violent offenders. Craig is doing work that is nationally recognized; why stop the progress?

Cutting back on essential needs like felony prosecutors is the wrong move. In the article Craig suggested cutting car allowances for himself and others; but will Commissioners cut their car allowances? No. Commissioners recently increased their salaries and car allowances. That’s the first thing that should be cut; they already make more than $120,000 per year. In contrast, the Mayor and City Council get zero money for car allowances.

There are so many quotable items in the article, but a couple really stand out:

The cuts, Watkins said, “would decimate us to the point where we would have to ask: ‘Which criminals do you want us to prosecute?’ ”

and this one:

County Commissioner Mike Cantrell suggested that Watkins begin his cost cutting by eliminating one of the three prosecutors from each of the felony courts. Those who remain, he said, can manage the jail population “the same as we’re doing right now.”

The 51 prosecutors assigned to the 17 felony courts each handle more than 300 cases a year, the district attorney’s office said. Other cases are handled in those courts by units that focus on crimes like child abuse, gangs, organized crime and family violence.

First Assistant District Attorney Terri Moore said in the article that prosecutors already work hours of overtime for free because the office is understaffed. “This place is a legal sweatshop,” she said. “How dare they talk about making it worse?”

Commissioners are always crowing about having the lowest taxes in the state; but at what cost to crime victims and the general public is this so-called accomplishment achieved? If you do that, you also should brag about the backed up courts, the lack of staffing, and the long length of time that it takes for a crime victim to get justice through the system. Doesn’t make much sense, now does it?

In my opinion, the District Attorney’s office and prosecutors are also a public safety component just like police and fire departments.

When talking about the potential deficit that the City faces, Mayor Tom Leppert and other city council members have said that they won’t support any cuts in police and public safety. It’s time for the County Commissioner’s court to do the same.

The One Article You Must Read this Month

February 19, 2009

District Attorney Craig Watkins is on the cover of D Magazine’s March Issue. I’ve known he was going to be on the cover for a while, but I figured I’d keep it under wraps as long as I could. No more.

In writing a feature article about Craig, Zac Crain did one of the best pieces I have read in some time. Articles like this are why D Magazine remains relevant; they look at all angles of the issue when writing feature pieces. They’re willing to travel any and everywhere for a story (I remember when we had Rod Davis deep in the hood for his pit bull story), and not just write hit jobs from the comfort of their laptop like some writers in this town.

Zac wrote this piece over the course of six months. Instead of writing an article that is mostly based on personal opinions of other writers and anecdotes cobbled from other magazines, Zac wrote something that is awardworthy in my opinion.

The article includes great photography from Elizabeth Lavin, including the cover shot and another with Craig’s barber and mine (the best in the city), Troy King of Testosterone Barbershop on Murray Street in Deep Ellum (it’s true, you can get a good fade in Dallas without driving to Far North Dallas or Desoto).

Enough said. Buy the mag, read the article, and let me know what you think.