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Northeast Times | February 17, 2020

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TARRANT COUNTY CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY

TARRANT COUNTY CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY

In 2019, the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office celebrated their centennial anniversary. From that first term of former teacher-turned Criminal District Attorney Jesse Brown and his 9 employees in 1919, the office has since grown to reflect what is now the nation’s 15th largest county, with more than 340 attorneys, investigators and support staff. Last year, 29,141 misdemeanor and 20,141 felony criminal cases were filed with the Criminal District Attorney’s office. This centennial celebrates some true landmarks in Texas criminal justice history, which happened here in Tarrant County. Among the milestones established include: •The hiring of Eva Barnes in 1945, the first female prosecutor in Texas, who would later become the first elected female district judge in Texas; •The hiring of Ollice Malloy in 1959, the first African-American assistant criminal district attorney south of St. Louis; •Creating the Deferred Prosecution Program in 1974, the first diversion program of its kind in the southwest; •Creation of the first comprehensive disclosure compliance policies with law enforcement and laboratories in Texas; •The first open file policy, pre-dating the standard-setting Michael Morton Act by three decades. The first female Criminal District Attorney in Tarrant’s history, former District Judge Sharen Wilson, was elected in 2015 and is now serving her second term. “My predecessors could never have imagined the way new legislative initiatives, forensic discoveries, and cultural changes have continued to shape the criminal justice landscape in this county we love, and in the world around us,” said Sharen Wilson. “As we begin our second century representing this community, I continue to ask of our employees that we meet each new task with the firm knowledge that in this job, no day is unimportant, no decision is irrelevant, and no relationship is immaterial. They are all in the mission of providing equal justice for all residents of Tarrant County.”

Article courtesy of Sam Jordan, Communications Officer

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