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Resource ID: #27520
When Sandra Bland died in a jail cell in a rural Texas county, the Houston Chronicle was the first to report the suicide - an issue that had already been on the radar of Chronicle crime reporter St. John Barned-Smith. He'd already been writing about lesser-known suicides of inmates, who can be jailed in Texas on the whim of a traffic cop and kept there by Justices of the Peace without any law degree. Chronicle journalists were the first to report on Bland's previous suicide attempt, they quickly requested and posted key documents and video, produced a more detailed profile of Bland and put the issue in context with the larger problem of jail suicides all across Texas.