AM Update 7/5/12
7:07 am
Thu July 5, 2012

AM Update: Austin Doctor Dies, Overturned Convictions in Texas, Youth Football World Championships

Beloved Austin Family Doctor Dies

Dr. Mathis Blackstock, a well-known Austin doctor, died Tuesday from melanoma. He was 87.

According to his obituary, Dr. Blackstock remained engaged with former patients and doctors at the Blackstock Family Health Center, named for him, until about two weeks ago. In the 1970s, he helped found a clinic at the San Jose Catholic Church in South Austin in order to serve underprivileged patients.

The funeral for Blackstock will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin, 4700 Grover Ave. Dr. Blackstock is survived by three children and a wife of 63 years.

Report Finds 25 Percent of Overturned Convictions Due to Prosecutorial Error

Nearly a quarter  of overturned convictions in Texas since 1989 involved prosecutor error, reports the Texas Tribune.

Between 1989 and 2011, 86 convicted defendants have had their convictions overturned; 21 of those were due to prosecutor error, according to the National Registry of Exonerations. The majority of these cases involved sexual assault and murder.

Judges in these cases found prosecutors broke ethical rules by suppressing witness testimony or concealing evidence – practices contrary to their profession:

In Texas, as in most other states, prosecutors are generally bound by the same ethical rules and criminal laws as private lawyers. But the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct set out additional requirements for lawyers for the state.

“A prosecutor has the responsibility to see that justice is done, and not simply to be an advocate,” the rules state.

At this time, none of the prosecutors found to have erred have been publicly reprimanded.

American Football World Champions to come from North America

The United States needs to trump only Canada to become world champions.

Yesterday, the American team beat Austria 70-7 in the semifinals of the International Federation of American Football Under-19 World Championship in Burger Stadium.

Canada outscored Japan 33-24 to advance to Saturday’s gold-medal game.

The tournament brings together teams of high-school age players from eight countries for a week-long championship-style competition.

This year’s tournament takes place from June 30 to July 7, with all games held in Burger Stadium.

The team includes young Austinites Desmond Wyatt, a wide receiver out of Westwood, and linebacker Lance Duran, a recent Westlake graduate. Belton High School tight end Durham Smythe, who committed verbally to the University of Texas, also played for the U.S.

Single-day tickets for the games are available online or at the gate, and all games can be viewed free of charge online at www.youtube.com/usafootballeducation.