Nine days ago, when a Travis County jury recommended Gabrielle Nestande receive only probation in the May 2011 hit-and-run death of Courtney Griffin, many spectators let out a collective gasp. Outside the courtroom, Griffin’s mother expressed the outrage and bafflement felt by many who had followed the trial.
The light punishment for Nestande, who’d visited two bars prior to veering her BMW into the 30-year-old nanny as she walked along Exposition Boulevard, signaled it was acceptable for “Everybody (to) just go out tonight, drink, get behind the wheel, drive through neighborhoods and hit innocent people,” Laurie Griffin said.
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Focus on the courts
Investigative reporters Tony Plohetski and Eric Dexheimer have written extensively on state and local judicial issues, including limited disclosure of information on the sanctioning of state judges, the rarity of Texas hate crime prosecutions and a lack of ethnic and racial diversity on Travis County grand juries.