Crime & Justice

Courts, trials and crime coverage for Austin and the Central Texas region.

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People caught with less than 2 ounces of marijuana in Travis County may qualify to take a $45 four-hour class and avoid all charges under a proposal unanimously adopted by the Travis County Commissioners Court. The class would be available only to people who are "cited and released" by law enforcement, not to those arrested and booked into jail. 

"We had a practice that was marking people for life,” Commissioner Brigid Shea said before voting for the program Tuesday. She said it was particularly hard for people who couldn't afford to have their records expunged and were labeled criminals.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Vanessa Bissereth learned of her cousin’s death in the newspaper.

“Of course it made headlines – ‘Teenager Killed’ – but there was no name,” she said. Her aunt had been calling her for five days to tell her what happened, but Vanessa hadn’t answered.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Attorneys arguing the case of Senate Bill 4 – Texas’ so-called sanctuary cities law –head back to federal court today. Judges of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans will consider a temporary block placed on most of the law in August, which was partially lifted in September.

Austin Police say four people were shot this morning as they drove along I-35 in North Austin. The suspected shooter is in custody, but his name has not been released. One child was among the injured and remains in critical condition.

The Supreme Court has taken two cases involving President Trump's controversial travel ban off its calendar, after the White House issued a revised and expanded ban. The justices ordered both sides to file new briefs over whether parts of the issue are now moot.

"The cases are removed from the oral argument calendar, pending further order of the Court," the justices wrote in an order issued Monday.

Parties in the two cases — Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and Trump v. Hawaii — have until next Thursday, Oct. 5, to file their briefs.

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