We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all of the people and organizations that have assisted in the preparation of this manuscript.
We would first like to thank Allison Faust, associate editor at UT Press, and Lynne Chapman, manuscript editor, for their encouragement, patience, and sound advice from the very beginning of this project. Kip Keller deserves credit for a superb job of copyediting. Our appreciation is also due Philip Wischkaemper and Evan Mandery for their careful reviews of and thoughtful comments on previous drafts of the manuscript.
We would also like to thank the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and its staff. We could not have gathered the necessary data for this text without the patient assistance of Frank Aubuchon, Sammy Buentello, Judy Mancil, Marty Martin, Thomas Warren, Paul Williams, Margie Wilkins, and the wonderful staff in the classifi cation and records department.
Our thanks also go out to former state senator Bill Meier, Midland County Judge Robin Sams, McLennan County District Attorney Mike Freeman, defense attorney John Niland, and Dallas County District Attorneys Patricia Hogue, Rick Jackson, and Patrick Kirlin for their insights and assistance.
Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to the University of Texas– Pan American, Prairie View A&M University, and Boston College Law School for their financial and academic support.