The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Letters to the editor

February 19, 2014

Feb. 16 — Letters to the Editor


GREENVILLE — Setting record straight

To the editor:

At the candidate forum on Monday night, Judge Tittle yet again repeated his claim that he spent approximately 40 percent less on court appointed attorney’s fees than the other district court.  It is time to set the record straight about that claim.

The truth is that for the 2012-13 budget year, Judge Beacom had three death penalty cases and one death penalty trial, and Tittle didn’t. Death penalty cases are expensive.  When you back out the death penalty expenses (almost all due to that one trial) the true numbers become clear.

  In non-death penalty cases, Judge Tittle outspent Judge Beacom by $100,000.00 and resolved 120 fewer cases.  For every non-death penalty case in the 2012-13 budget year, Judge Beacom spent an average of $534 per case and Judge Tittle spent $764 per case. That’s over 33 percent more per case (these numbers can be verified by documents at the county auditor’s office). 

But it looks like Judge Tittle intends to mislead the voters as to how much he actually spends on court appointed attorneys.

Judge Tittle has complained that lawyers from surrounding counties flock to Hunt County to collect our allegedly exorbitant fees.  Yet, when Judge Bench proposed a rule to require an attorney to live in or have their office in Hunt County to be eligible to be on the court appointed list, only one judge opposed it – Judge Tittle.

Let’s look at who has really worked to reduce indigent defense costs to the taxpayers.   Death penalty case expenses cannot be accurately listed in a yearly budget because it isn’t a recurring standard cost.  The expenses vary due to the number of cases indicted as well as the unique facts in each case.

 Judge Bench brought the West Texas Capital Defense program to Hunt County and lobbied the Hunt County Commissioner’s Court to sign up for it. Now the county only pays a set fee to be in the program (like an insurance premium) which is a fraction of the cost of one death penalty case.

From now on, every death penalty case in Hunt County will be handled by the West Texas Capital Defense program and it only costs Hunt County the premium. If five death penalty cases are indicted, the program has to pay for its staff lawyers and investigators to do those cases.  As a lawyer who has worked on three death penalty cases, I supported Judge Bench in his efforts because it benefitted Hunt County. 

This program will save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars (and possibly millions) in court appointed attorney’s fees.

Too many people have blindly accepted Judge Tittle’s statements on these issues.  I hope that this sets the record straight.

Katherine A. Ferguson


Text Only
Letters to the editor
  • Health services kudos

    I am writing this letter of appreciation because two weeks ago I had my second knee replacement surgery within six months.

    July 20, 2014

  • Kill the YMCA project

    In addressing the city council on July 8th, YMCA board president Andy Bench made a bold and highly questionable claim that raised a red flag in my mind. He referenced the alleged financial commitment made by The Greenville Independent School District to help pay for his proposed $15 million taxpayer funded YMCA.

    July 20, 2014

  • Applaud Court’s return to interpretive sanity

    I applaud the Supreme Court’s return to Constitutional interpretive sanity in its recent finding in favor of Hobby Lobby and other closely held companies, to decline to pay for certain medications that they believe violate their religious beliefs.

    July 15, 2014

  • Take care of children crossing over border

    The beautiful little Hispanic children coming across the border from Mexico and South America…

    July 14, 2014

  • Not too late to stop proposed YMCA center

    n your Wednesday edition, reporter Brad Kellar briefly touched on the comments of Dr. Jerry Ransom at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

    July 13, 2014

  • Perkins should abstain from YMCA vote

    What if you were a judge? What if you were also Board President of a non profit organization?

    July 5, 2014

  • Say no to YMCA on Tuesday

    An April 28, 2013 ad in the Herald Banner stated that the YMCA/Event Center bond would only add an additional 2.5 cents to the Greenville property tax rate.

    July 5, 2014

  • Already missed

    When I moved back to Greenville after living 17 years in South Texas, I took the advice of my friend, Dr. Bill Thorn, who advised me to become an expert in some field. It didn’t matter what.

    June 26, 2014

  • Freedom of religion

    Texas Constitution and the YMCA

    June 13, 2014

  • Thanks to Park & Rec

    Thank you Kimber Patterson, Brett Quarles and the staff of Greenville Parks and Recreation for the outstanding job you do for our community.

    June 13, 2014

Featured Ads

Does Dallas head coach Jason Garrett need for the Cowboys to make the playoffs during the 2014 football season to keep his job?

Who knows with Jerry Jones as owner?
     View Results
Must Read

See more photos and purchase prints here.

AP Video
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide