The error occurred because municipal judges do not have direct access to defendants' criminal histories before signing off on PR bonds. Judges rely on defense attorneys to obtain their client's criminal backgrounds from Travis County. They then hand-deliver it to judges. After that, there's no way to know whether the attorney actually provided the full criminal history before the judge sets bond.
Cumminskey said that's like the fox guarding the hen house.
"It just seems that's just asking for failure. You can see that it's failed in this instance, and it's probably failed in others," said Cumminskey.
That will soon change. In response to KVUE's investigation, Travis County Pretrial Services said it's now working to create a system for judges to automatically receive defendants' criminal backgrounds on their computers, cutting out attorneys altogether.