District Attorney

South Texas Judges Spar with Prosecutor over No-Plea Policy

A South Texas district attorney is sparring with county judges over his policy not to allow plea deals in misdemeanor cases of drunken driving.

Victoria County District Attorney Stephen Tyler requires that all misdemeanor cases go to trial.

But three judges cite clogged court dockets as their reason for disregarding the year-old policy. They have recently allowed offenders to enter guilty pleas.

The Victoria Advocate reports that Tyler has responded by filing petitions with a state appeals court accusing the judges of failing to perform their duties.

Tyler implemented the policy after a man with three drunken-driving convictions drove drunk again and killed a woman while fleeing police.

Tyler says public trials are a prosecutor's best way to "increase awareness and accountability."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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