Daniel has been an Austinite since 2007 and, like you, he loves Austin dearly. Engaging all the stakeholders including the community will be key to preserving the quality of life we all love here in Travis County. For the community to have a voice we need jury trials so that we can take advantage of knowing what the community thinks in
Daniel has been an Austinite since 2007 and, like you, he loves Austin dearly. Engaging all the stakeholders including the community will be key to preserving the quality of life we all love here in Travis County. For the community to have a voice we need jury trials so that we can take advantage of knowing what the community thinks individual cases are worth. This means not tying the hands of police and prosecutors and let them do their jobs in protecting all of us and all of our interests in the peace and prosperity of Austin.
As DA Daniel will enforce the law as written, protect our property and bodily integrity, and restore confidence in the rule of law to help deter crime. District Attorney should not be a position where political party matters, and it should not be the place to enact a candidate's personal opinions, and it is not the place for social exper
As DA Daniel will enforce the law as written, protect our property and bodily integrity, and restore confidence in the rule of law to help deter crime. District Attorney should not be a position where political party matters, and it should not be the place to enact a candidate's personal opinions, and it is not the place for social experiments. Daniel intends to speak with Democrats and Independents alike and help them understand that he is the best candidate to run our District Attorney's office with effective and sound leadership.
Daniel is already receiving an immense amount of support from the community which is fed up with DA Garza's gross mismanagement of the office. We need you to get involved to get the campaign across the finish line. Contact us to volunteer to donate your time, your financial resources, and to help us get the word out that Travis County finally has a true choice for District Attorney.
Daniel Betts emerges as a compelling candidate for the position of Travis County District Attorney, bringing a wealth of legal experience, community engagement, and a genuine passion for justice to the forefront of his campaign. With a background rooted in academic excellence and a commitment to serving the community, Daniel presents a well-rounded and down-to-earth approach to the role.
Daniel began his academic journey by earning a degree in Chemistry from the University of Chicago. Seeking a path where he could make a meaningful impact, he made his way to Austin to attend the University of Texas School of Law. During his time at UT Law, Daniel not only excelled academically but also took on leadership roles, including serving as the editor-in-chief of the Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal.
Bringing a 13-year career as a criminal defense attorney, Daniel has been entirely focused on the landscape of criminal law in Travis County. For the past decade, he has served as a partner at Blackburn Betts PLLC, where he has tirelessly defended clients at both state and federal levels. His commitment to justice and excellence in legal representation has been a driving force throughout his career.
Beyond the courtroom, Daniel is deeply committed to community service. He has generously shared his legal insights by serving as a mock trial coach, contributing to the development of aspiring legal professionals. As the President of Hope Lutheran Church on the east side of Austin, he actively participates in community-building efforts, reflecting his dedication to shared values and a sense of belonging.
Long-time Resident and Athlete:
Having called Austin home for 16 years, Daniel has seamlessly integrated into the fabric of the community. During his time at UT Law, he showcased his athleticism as a member of the UT Ultimate Frisbee team, demonstrating a commitment to a well-rounded lifestyle that goes beyond legal pursuits.
Family and Personal Life:
In his personal life, Daniel values his relationships and is proud to have been married to his wife, Piper, for seven years. Together, they are raising two sons, Harvey and Malcolm, and their family is completed by the addition of Winston, their beloved pet pot belly pig.
In his downtime, Daniel finds joy in simple pleasures, such as cooking and gardening. He is a genuine, approachable individual who not only understands the complexities of the legal system but also appreciates the richness of life outside the courtroom.
Daniel Betts stands as a dedicated candidate for Travis County District Attorney, embodying a commitment to justice, community, and a well-rounded approach to life. His experience, values, and passion make him a compelling choice to lead the pursuit of justice in Travis County as our next District Attorney.
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Unequivocally no, I am not. We see the very same flawed logic in the most mentally ill defendants in our criminal justice system, this black and white thinking that says, "If you don't agree with me 100% then you must be completely evil." I reject the notion that in order to disagree with DA Garza, I must be a MAGA Republican, because I know there are moderate, common sense Democrats and Independents across Austin that disagree with his insane policies that make us all unsafe. Does he confine all of us who see the error of his ways to his basket of deplorables?
All you have to do to know he is wrong about me being MAGA is look at my policy positions below, which represent common-sense approaches to these issues that I think most of us can agree on. What is so important in this polarized political age is that we choose not to divide and separate ourselves based on arbitrary and false paradigms, but that we find our common ground so we can learn to live together.
If that hasn't convinced you, look at my political contributions. Since I started donating to candidates I have donated over $50,000 to Democrats versus only $1700 to Republican candidates. My wife is a socialist activist who got arrested protesting Sheriff Hamilton's cooperation with ICE. To put it frankly, I'm a moderate who happens to be a Republican, which means there's a lot we can all agree about.
It is a lie told over and over in large cities across America that the citizens of those cities have no choice when it comes to their local politicians. That lie is told by those politicians themselves to the voters, and it is told by both sides to themselves, and it is as a result a self-fulfilling prophecy. For and office like District Attorney, this should be an easy one to dispel, because it does not need to be and should not be an office defined by politics or party. The job is simply to faithfully enforce the laws on the books without prejudice and to work with the police who bring us cases with established probable cause that we determine have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt of guilt. When the office does that, it shouldn't matter what letter is next to the person holding the office, because the laws are the same, and the facts of those cases are the same. What is damaging to public safety, confidence in the rule of law, and the ability to actually prosecute cases, is when that very same official undermines confidence in the individual stakeholders, disenfranchising the citizens and disincentivizing them from even reporting crime, because they know the police will not investigate, because the district attorney will not prosecute.
I intend to reinvest all those members of our community who are hurting and disillusioned by the foolish actions of the current administration. When we think of things as a zero sum game like politics always is, we all lose, but when we focus on the elements that unite us all as Austinites invested in preserving this uniquely wonderful city we have, we can reverse the trends of stagnation and decay and save our city, and I intend to do so, irrespective of which letter I have next to my name when I win.
Unfortunately it will not be my job to change laws that I don't like, but I am a big proponent of encouraging law enforcement to make the prosecution and arrest of people using plant medicines their lowest priority. I intend to work with Decrim Nature and the Austin City Council to make this a reality.
Medicines like psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, have been known for decades to consistently cause spiritual experiences that have lasting positive effects on mental health, and have centuries of use in religious contexts here in the Americas (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/press_releases/2006/griffithspsilocybin.pdf), and the FDA is currently examining psilocybin for prescription as a medicine for depression, with its efficacy being shown to be much higher than traditional antidepressants. When the suicide rate for our veterans continues to climb, we owe it to those who have sacrificed their mental health to protect our freedom to not just continue with the same failed approach merely because our forebears chose to be led by fear.
I am deeply disappointed in Mr.Garza's lip-service to the problems of the drug war while ignoring this important religious rights issue. If he were truly as progressive as he claims he would not have chosen to effectively legalize methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl in our county and would have focused on those substances that show great promise for actually improving the mental health for vulnerable populations like our veterans, and for enhancing the religious and spiritual lives of our citizens.
I firmly believe that the Supreme Court got it wrong in Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith (485 U.S. 660 (1988)) when they ruled that criminal law trumped religious freedom under the First Amendment, even for Native groups, and I believe that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 that was passed in response to that failed ruling needs to be given teeth. As District Attorney I will welcome defense attorneys who wish to challenge the criminalization of these substances so that we can make sure we don't confuse issues when we focus on the real threats to us all like deadly fentanyl, methamphetamine, and new threats like xylazine.
There is a new Texas law that subjects district attorneys to removal if they make broad statements about not prosecuting specific types of crimes that are on the books. That ties my hands a lot in that regard, but I'm certainly not trying to send users who need help breaking an addiction to prison, though for some of them treatment needs to be pushed on them with a pretty big stick. I want to bolster access to true treatment, and not just nominal things like intensive outpatient, but stuff that actually works and turns people back into productive members of society who aren't traumatizing and subjecting their children and families to future addictions as well. Meth, but moreso than that, fentanyl represents a unique threat due to the potential to have innocent third parties die through no fault of their own. I don't believe we can prosecute our way out of the fentanyl crisis, but people actively pushing pills that contain fentanyl unbeknownst to their customers need to be held to account. I also want to work with defense attorneys to help them identify personality disorders in their clients because addiction is not typically the root cause, and they are the ones who have unique access to their clients to help identify childhood traumas. I'm already working with psychologists I know to put together resources so that those defendants we identify can get treatment that will help undo those traumas.
The American system is a unique one, and not one that allows any one branch of government to act as a tyrant, no matter how benevolent they may seem. The job of the District Attorney is not to legislate, not to make new rules, or frankly pick and choose which ones they like, that's what we elect the legislature to do, and it is ruinous empathy to ignore the laws we don't like. It undermines trust in the rule of law and all laws generally, and it gives the populace no incentive to hold their legislators to account so that they are forced to change bad laws, so that those laws are no longer on the books for a futures less benevolent executive to use for their own purposes. The law requires that the District Attorney enforce the law, even laws they disagree with without regard for race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or politics and that is what I intend to do as District Attorney.
When we bring unpopular cases it gives us an opportunity to hear from the jury in selecting a jury, and in the event that they tell us they don't want these cases prosecuted, either by disqualifying themselves in jury selection such that we don't have enough jurors to go forward, or by giving such low sentences that they show us it is not a community priority, we will listen, and it will inform how we handle those cases in the future. Bringing the case in the first place, however, gets people talking and engaged on the issue, and they are more likely to talk to their legislators and advocate for change so that the laws work for all of us.
Absolutely not. It is not remotely the position of any lawyer, elected or not, to be standing between the medical decisions made between a woman and her doctor. Such ultracrepidarian oversight only serves to make physicians nervous, hence making poorer decisions, and acts as a barrier to women seeking medical help during a pregnancy for fear of wrongful prosecution. If we care about keeping women and those who choose to carry their pregnancies to term safe in Texas this must be the policy. We already have a far too high maternal mortality rate here in Texas than should be acceptable in the developed world, and I won't be party to exacerbating that problem.
Additionally, there is a perception that Texas has made it possible under the current state of the law to prosecute a woman for procuring an abortion, and that is false. Were the law to change in the future my stance would remain the same. See Health and Safety Code §171.065(b) https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/HS/htm/HS.171.htm
This basically comes back to jury sentencing. You might have noticed that for all intents and purposes we also don't prosecute possession of marijuana in Travis and we haven't for some time. It is virtually impossible to find a panel of Austin jurors who would consider the full punishment range for the offense (six months in jail for less than two ounces); without a jury, there is no trial, much less punishment. Since our community does not want to punish this crime, there is no point in pursuing prosecution; there are better uses of our judicial resources. If we attempted to prosecute a doctor for performing an abortion in Travis County, we would have to find twelve jurors in a panel of fifty willing to sentence that doctor to two years in prison. That effort would not be successful and would be a similar waste of resources.