DA staffers go through diversity training
FEATURED STORY BY STEVE RAMOS | They were the words no mother wants to hear. Maria Ramos, tough ranch woman that she was, must have weakened when the Arkansas official told her that her son was injured and probably wouldn’t live through the day. It was 1985. People weren’t awakened by genial cell phone tones in those days. Instead, a 10-pound phone ringing in the early morning hours roused people like a cattle prod to the brain. The news that your son is near death would only rev that shock to a mind-splintering level.
“It’s impossible to change this office overnight, but I am going to set the standard of behavior of what the justice system should be.”
Minutes after she hung up the phone, Maria’s bags were packed, and she was herding other family members into action. Bad news travels through Mexican neighborhoods faster than the speed of light in a vacuum, and the community circled the wagons around her. Within the hour, family friends were dropping off money to help with the trip. A couple of dollars from one, five bucks from another. Tears from all of them.
7 Year Human Trafficking Victim Gets Justice
A forty year old Hispanic female, who was victimized for seven years through coerced servitude had finally found her freedom thanks to aggressive prosecution by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
The Human Trafficking victim made an outcry that she had been forced to work at a home in Garland for seven years without any type of monetary compensation. She stated that the home owner, Josephina Carleton and a co-defendant, required her to do all the cooking, house and yard work and any other physical labor needed in exchange for food and shelter.
The victim was also transported by the defendants to clean office buildings where Carleton had cleaning contracts and also to construction sights to labor for Carleton’s son in law. The victim’s daughter was removed from elementary school so that she could care full time for the defendants’ children and grandchildren.
The defendants withheld the victim’s Identification card and her children’s birth certificates and told her that if she left they would call police to inform them that the victim had stolen money; and, defendants would have immigration deport her back to Mexico without her children.
Evidence brought forth at trial indicated that one of the victim’s children, at age two and a half, had been illegally put up for adoption by defendants.
After a four day trial the jury could not reach a verdict and were split 10 guilty and 2 not guilty.
In order to avoid a retrial the defendants agreed to plead guilty to Human Trafficking. Josephina Carleton received a 5 year penitentiary sentence and Francisco Perez-Espinosa received a two year sentence.
Former Dallas ADA makes miraculous recovery after accident
Told she would never walk again. For Liz Mitchell, the odds were stacked against her. Despite being paralyzed, the Waco woman refused to give up. She inspired everyone around her, including the person she would end up sharing the rest of her life with.
ADA Haim Vasquez discusses Protecting Voter Rights
Assistant District Attorney Haim Vasquez appeared on the Univision-Dallas local news to discuss the protection of voter rights and what resources are available to the community if they feel their rights are violated.
Your Rights – Texas Voter ID Law
Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins is beefing up monitoring at the polls during early voting and throughout the election cycle to ensure no voter is disenfranchised.
“We know that 200,000 voters have been identified in the county as having a possible conflict with their names not matching on voter registration and identification cards,” said DA Watkins. “We want them to know if their information does not match, they can still fill out an affidavit and vote.”
If voters feel as if they were improperly denied the right to vote, they can report alleged violations to the Dallas DA’s office by calling 214-725-2815. Assistant District Attorney Haim Vasquez will be taking the calls and assigning cases to our investigators. An Official Oppression charge could be filed, which is a Class A Misdemeanor. If convicted, violators could face a year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine.
Dallas County District Attorney’s (DA) Office is located at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas, Texas, led by District Attorney Craig Watkins, who took office January 1, 2007. The District Attorney’s Office represents the State of Texas in the prosecution of all Dallas County criminal cases.
Letter to the DA Staff: LGBT Task Force
Dear DA Staff,
I am always striving to make the Dallas County DA’s Office the most progressive office by continuing with our smart on crime approach. With that in mind, I want to announce the development of our new Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender task force.
We need to ensure that the LGBT community knows we will advocate for them and pursue rigorous prosecution when warranted. Several months back, I met with members of the LGBT community and learned that many victims of domestic violence or hate crimes were afraid to report the crimes to law enforcement.
It was disheartening to learn that many crimes are going unpunished because of fear and mistrust. If crimes are not reported, it is a missed opportunity for justice and that is unacceptable.
I’ve formed a dynamic LGBT task force to bridge the communication gap and change the perception that the justice system only works for certain people. The team consists of Administrative Chief Ellyce Lindberg, ADA Justin Lord, Senior Caseworker Renee Breazeale, Investigator Tonia Silva, Community Prosecutor Haim Vasquez, and James Tate who will serve as the LGBT spokesperson for the office.
I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to share how much I value and respect each and every member of our Dallas DA team. It is our individual uniqueness – our own life experiences that make our organization thrive. I am proud of our diversity and firmly believe that we best serve our county by being representatives of our communities.
Here is the link to the article in the “Dallas Voice”, which shed some light on this very important issue.
Fox 4 News: Prosecutors Weighs in on Josh Brent Trial
Josh Brent will spend 180 days in jail and 10 years on probation for the drunk driving wreck that killed his friend and teammate.