Elizabeth Davis Frizell is resigning as a state district judge to run for Dallas County District Attorney.
Monday is her last day as
Frizell, a Democrat, turned in her resignation letter to Regional Administrative Judge Mary Murphy. A temporary replacement will preside over Frizell's criminal court until the vacancy is filled by Gov. Greg Abbott.
"I have decided to step down from the bench as a Criminal District Court Judge to run for Dallas County District Attorney because the decisions that will be made by the District Attorney’s Office will shape the future of fairness and justice for Dallas County and the nation in 2018 and for many years to come," Frizell said in a statement to The Dallas Morning News. "We have to continue to move forward to ensure fairness for everyone who is affected by the criminal justice system."
To read the whole story, visit Dallasnews.com
There was a special moment in a Dallas courtroom Monday for a woman who's turning her life around.
Not long ago, Felicia Flynn was a prostitute, but now she has a job in a restaurant. Monday, she celebrated a milestone, graduating from STAR Court, a court-ordered diversion program that seeks to help sex workers break a cycle of recidivism. It's a big first."I've never graduated from anything. Never," she said. "Receiving my GED in the mail was the closest to graduation I've ever had."
Flynn, 38, fell into prostitution 10 years ago after her marriage ended and she was suddenly on her own."I didn't know how to take care of myself and I found a way that was so convenient," Flynn said. "But once you find that convenient way, you get so stuck into that lifestyle. It's just a whirlpool. It sucks you under."
Soon, she was addicted to drugs and found herself in and out of jail. She said she was convicted of multiple felonies and was in and out of jail for prostitution at least seven times.Last year, she wound up in Criminal District Court 7, in front of Judge Elizabeth Frizell. But this time, Flynn was sentenced to STAR Court instead of jail time.
"They go through the system again and again," Frizell explained. "And we're spending all this money to lock them up, and we know they're going to come back because we haven't addressed the issue."
Read the full story at Wfaa.com
It's difficult to disguise a courtroom. For the most part, no matter what you do, it's still a court of law, with unflattering lighting, two burly bailiffs in the corner and a ban on gum chewing
.But in state District Judge Elizabeth Frizell's courtroom this week, guests who sat in wooden benches whooped and laughed out loud, making far too much noise for typical courtroom decorum. A table normally reserved for trial attorneys was covered in a baby pink: a pink tablecloth, pink paper plates, a marble cake with "Congratulations" written in pink icing.
It looked like a courtroom, but it felt like a party.
The celebration was for Frizell's Strengthening, Transition and Recovery (STAR) court, a rehabilitation program for women with more than three prostitution offenses. Instead of going to jail, former prostitutes get probation and the chance to work with the judge to start a new life.After going through the 12 to 18-month program, three women had been approved to "graduate" and continue their recovery on their own. They filed into the courtroom to the melodic march of "Pomp and Circumstance." Family and friends clapped and took photos on their cell phones.
Read the full story at Dallasnews.com
Gov. Greg Abbott's selection of Faith Johnson as the new Dallas County district attorney was a safe choice that showcases GOP diversity. But it's not likely to mean the GOP keeps the seat in 2018.
Though she's a former judge, prosecutor and a somewhat familiar name in Dallas County political circles, it's unlikely that Johnson will have the heft necessary to beat a hard-charging Democrat when voters pick the county's top law enforcement officer.
Johnson, 66 of Cedar Hill was a judge who lost her seat when Democrats took control of county politics in 2006. That year, she had the backing of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, then the county's leading Democrat, and still lost on the strength of an otherwise unified Democratic Party vote.
Since 2006 the county has become even more Democratic, as evidenced by Hillary Clinton's crushing of Donald Trump in last month's general election here.
Read the full story at Dallasnews.com