Taylor Applauds 416th District Judge-Elect Andrea Stroh Thompson For Leading Commission To Review Outdated Crimes
AUSTIN, TX - Senator Van Taylor today filed S.B. 350, the It's About Time Act, to repeal an outdated law criminalizing improper disclosure of the sale or transfer of secondhand watches. In filing the bill, Senator Taylor applauded 416th District Court Judge-Elect Andrea Stroh Thompson for her work reviewing obsolete crimes still in statute. Appointed by Governor Greg Abbott, Thompson led a commission to review crimes outside of the penal code that are outdated and go unenforced.
One such law is H.B. 118, passed by the 47th Legislature in 1941. In response to a nationwide increase in counterfeiting, the Texas Legislature passed this law regulating the sale or transfer of secondhand watches. This law requires that persons selling a secondhand watch clearly label and advertise the item as "secondhand" and draft a specific invoice for the sale. Failure to comply with these requirements could, by law, result in a criminal penalty of up to 100 days in a county jail, a $500 fine, or both.
Today, the Texas law governing the sale of secondhand watches appears to be ignored. A cursory review of secondhand good marketplaces on the Internet, including Google shopping, eBay, and Craigslist, reveals widespread noncompliance with the law's requirements.
"Bad laws shouldn’t be ignored, they should be repealed -- especially if they have criminal penalties associated with them," stated Taylor. "I want to applaud Judge-Elect Andrea Stroh Thompson for answering the call from Governor Abbott to study crimes outside of our penal code and highlight obscure laws in obvious need of repeal. As with so many of her other undertakings, Andrea led this commission with strong enthusiasm, unrivaled work-ethic, and a passion for Texas law."
Judge-Elect Thompson stated, “The Texas penal code includes roughly 225 crimes, while there are over 1,500 crimes located outside of the penal code that have often been rendered obsolete due to passage of time, failure to prosecute, or subsequent changes in other legislation. The charge of our commission was to review all of the crimes located outside the code and identify those in need of repeal or repair. The law governing the sale of secondhand watches is a perfect example of legislation that may have been necessary in its time, but is now unnecessarily overloading an already crowded field. The commission is proud of the work done in the last year to identify and recommend changes to laws such as this and we appreciate the efforts of Senator Taylor to begin the work needed to update the legislation.”    
Andrea Stroh Thompson is Judge-Elect for the 416th District. Previously, she served as Collin County District Clerk and president of The Stroh Law Firm. She is a board member of Collin County Women Lawyers Association and the Curt B. Henderson American Inn of Court and co-chair of the Texas Bar Foundation Nominating Committee. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas Family Law Section, Collin County Bench Bar Foundation, and the Plano Bar Association. Additionally, she is a member of the Legal Aid of Northwest Texas Advisory Board and Plano Metro Rotary, board member of the Plano Symphony Orchestra, volunteer for Hope’s Door Women’s Shelter, and guest lecturer for Plano Junior Achievement. Thompson received a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M University and a Juris Doctor from South Texas College of Law.
A seventh generation Texan, local small businessman, and decorated Marine Officer, Van Taylor serves the majority of Collin County and a portion of Dallas County in the Texas Senate where he is widely recognized as a conservative leader. Taylor serves as Vice-Chairman of both the Nominations Committee and the Sunset Advisory Commission. He is also as a member of the Education, Health and Human Services, and Transportation Committees as well as the interim Committee on Property Tax Reform and Relief. Van and his wife, Anne, married after his return from Iraq and are the proud parents of three young girls. Van and his family reside in Plano near the land his great-grandfather farmed during the Great Depression.