Sunday, December 7, 2008

One Last Rodeo

I've talked to all my witnesses.

I've got all my exhibits marked.

And tonight after I put my little boy to bed, I'll finish writing my voir dire.

Tomorrow morning, for one last time, I will pick a jury on behalf of the Great State of Texas.

I'm trying a murder case against an excellent and diligent defense attorney.

One of my favorite prosecutors in the Office will be sitting second chair with me.

And I'll get to try the case in front of the Best Damn Judge in the Courthouse.

I know that time and life experiences can change a person's outlook on things as years go by and circumstances shape you.

But as for tomorrow, I can honestly say that when I stand up in front of those 65 people on the jury panel, as I represent the State of Texas and the Harris County District Attorney's Office one last time . . .

. . . there won't be a place in the World that I'd rather be.

42 comments:

Mark Bennett said...

A lesser man in your position would go into the trial not giving a fuck. But I know that you'll put an exclamation point on my argument that firing you was a stupid thing to do.

Trident 5 said...

Mark Bennett could not have said it better. Give them hell and hold your head high.....

jigmeister said...

Good boy, good luck.

Anonymous said...

Murray,

I don't know you personally but I do know your outstanding reputation.

I am supremely confident that you and the "best damn judge in the courthouse" (who can only be named Caprice) are destined for bigger and better things.

Anonymous said...

I would tell you good luck, but you don't need luck - kick their ass.

Anonymous said...

True to the end, a dedicated prosecutor. Sorry that your leaving, you will truly be missed.

Ron in Houston said...

I agree with Mark. Your attitude show true character.

Anonymous said...

M,
I'm sorry you were not "renewed". I know you loved being an ADA. I think you'll love being a defense attorney too. And hey, you never know...one day maybe you'll have a "looter" case!!! Have a great vacation and I'll see ya around the courthouse.

Anonymous said...

The Lord does not close door without opening windows.

Anonymous said...

I was on your side, right up until the last post when you ragged on Leitner for addressing the pant suit issue. BTW, that is a real issue for female prosecutors, even though you find it trivial. Reading the post, it occurred to me that I would have fired you also. Not because you supported Kelly Seigler, but because you will never support Pat Lykos. No boss would retain an employee who she believes will publicly disagree with and belittle her every decision. No employer would retain an employee that hosts a public forum in which she is derided and criticized on a daily basis. No one would keep an employee who she believes would go around bad mouthing her at every opportunity. It would be like keeping a poisonous snake in your closet and hoping it doesn't bite you when you reach in to get your jacket every morning. No one would tolerate that.

anonymous c said...

Lykos has cast public aspersions on the ADAs at every possible turn...essentially throwing them under the proverbial bus in her bid to win something (for a change)...I suspect that Murray is just as (if not more) glad to be rid of Lykos as Lykos is to be rid of him.

Don't fool yourself. She is the snake in the jacket.

Anonymous said...

4:27

You are completely dishonest. Murray actually endorsed the troll. In doing that, Murray lost respect of some that read this. He publicly endorsed that woman and her slinky assistant Leitner. That flies in the face of your poisonous snake comment. In fact, I am willing to bet that if the troll were to make good fair decsions, Murray would have been her biggest fan. Demoting someone like Marc Brown for having lunch with CO Bradford is not the right decision. I love Kate Dolan but she isn't going to be the one training my future stars. 4:27, go show the troll that you posted that.

OUTRAGED said...

Dear Anon 732 & 934,
You call Anon 427's pandering psychobabble for what it is. The Troll is in actuality the pit viper and her bitch, "Lose at All Costs" Leitner has shown his true deceitful character, or shall I say lack thereof.
I predict that once Laurel and Hardy "think" they have figured out basic protocols more heads will roll. Then as the Troll's health starts to spiral and Satan reaches up to grab her, "Loser Leitner" will feel ever more threatened by any ADA that is perceived as a "star" standing in the way of his ultimate quest "being DA at all costs....even if it requires selling his soul to the Devil".
So not only do the duo not give a shit about making our office great they will hatchet and take scalps of those that strive for greatness.
If one of us has the guts to salvage our office in 2012 we better all damn well never forget the general apathy that got us into this mess in the 1st place....lest we sell our souls as well.
Fear feeds on fear.....we're better then that.

Anonymous said...

I would expect you - Murray - to do a great job on your last case - why wouldn't you? And - when you're a defense attorney - you will do a great job for your clients.

The point - no matter who is in charge - what is going on politically - or what "side" we are on - our focus and committment is to do the best job for our client. If we all do that, hopefully, the right thing will happen - for everyone.

I can't live in this world - of worrying about getting axed or demoted - or whatever. It has been a rough couple of weeks, but I realize that I can't continue to function, feeling afraid and worrying all the time.

I'm making a decision to put my focus back on my j-o-b. If that changes - so be it - I'll deal with it. It would be awful - but I can't change it.

In the meantime - I'm taking a lesson from Ken Magidson - chin-up, do my job, be a pro, do the right thing.

The rest of it: I can't control.

Anonymous said...

ANON 427,
Why was Pat Smith fired?

Anonymous said...

I still don't see the Leitner argument everyone seems to be making. He took the job, she is now his boss. If she asked him to fire someone, as first assistant he will do so. If Seigler would have been elected and Murray was appointed first assistant you better believe he'd be doing what his boss tells him to.
And before you respond by saying something like Seigler wouldn't fire good prosecutors. She probably wouldn't be doing firings like Lykos has done, true, but she also didn't face such friction from inside the DA's office.
I don't think the hatchet man title really fits... why don't we just call him the first assistant?

And I agree with Anon 4:27. Most people on this blog don't like Lykos so they are going to disagree with just about everything she does no matter if its good or not. Plain and simple, her decision is right -- maybe not in all cases (I don't know all the individuals who were let go), but in general.

-

OUTRAGED said...

ANON 927,
The complaint is NOT that Leitner is simply following orders. The complaint is that Leitner is a liar. Pat's patsy has said one thing and done another. The Troll's reputation is no secret......but little Jimmy professed to be a man of honor and integrity. The revelation of his true character is a betrayal to those that use to support and respect him. That's all. I for one was fooled to think that he really cared about the office and would keep the Troll in check and protect the integrity of the HCDA....I sadly grossly misjudged him. He is more concerned about being "THE DA" then a man of honor.

HPD 101 said...

Hey ANON 927,
What is it EXACTLY that you actually like about Lykos?
"The king is dead long live the queen" won't cut it! I want to know what redeeming qualities she and her boy bring to the HCDA's office.....not fluff the real deal.
This will probably end up as a rhetorical question.

Anonymous said...

I never said i liked Lykos. Sorry if I made you think that. I do, however, like Leitner. He may have said some things and done differently, but people who know him and are close to him know they can take him at his word. If the big example people are leaning on is that he said he wouldn't support anyone else for DA and then ended up showing support for Lykos, well what can we say about that. Leitner is dam good at his job (please try to argue against that, please), but I wouldn't say that he's had a lot of experience in politics or being in the public eye. He said what he was feeling when first asked - He thought he was best suited for the position and said he wouldn't back anyone. Well when the situation changed and he no longer had the opportunity to be in the position he decided to use his support in the best way he thought... and it didn't sit well with some people (lets just call them "Seigler Supporters" for the time being). It doesn't mean he is a Liar or the spawn of the devil - which is what I'm seeing on here.

Could it just be that he wanted to be in the DA's office and make a difference... he lost the race, but saw another opportunity to get in there and make that difference? I don't imagine I will get a positive response on that question, but just think about it...
ANON 927

OUTRAGED said...

Anon 1019,
I used to be a Leitner fan as well. Leitner supported Lykos in 2000 so his support for the TROLL in 2008 is not a shocker or surprise. My issue with Leitner is that he stated that he would always put the good of the office over politics and serve as a shield between the hard working ethical DAs and the Troll. He categorically stated the integrity of the HCDA office would be his priority. Instead he has become Pat's patsy. I resent that he has turned out not to be a man of principle. Do you think Jimmy is willing to do whatever the Troll instructs him to do purely to position himself for DA in 2012 and/or to be appointed if the Troll crashes and burns before that; Or do you think that he will be guided by higher moral principles? Over the years I have come to hold what people do to be more significant then what they profess to do....Deeds over bullshit and I'm afraid Jimmy's bullshit is getting weaker with each passing day. Let me know as the days pass if you really believe that Jimmy is acting in the best interests of our office or in his best interests. We all knew the Troll could care less about the office but Jimmy mirroring the Troll in that regard was a shocker, to me at least.

Anonymous said...

Some of you are just missing the point. Lykos is not the snake and not the devil (she may be a troll, however). What she is: she is the Winner, the Boss, the Big Dog, large and in charge. She is the duly and fairly elected and incoming District Attorney. She hires and fires the staff that she wants and she makes the rules, just like Holmes and Rosenthal did. She chose to fire people that she perceives as trouble makers, malcontents, and people who would undermine her authority at every opportunity. I can't think of a single entity in government or the business world that would tolerate an employee who hosts a public forum that routinely and nastily bashes his boss. Corporate employees are routinely fired for such behavior, which is why the smart ones are careful to keep it truly anonymous. Would any of you keep employees who vociferously denounce you and call you all sorts of names and make clear their contempt for you, and then after you take over, expect all to be forgiven; no harm, no foul? I don't think so. If you have disloyal malcontents in an organization and you have the ability to get rid of them, you do it. And as some other poster pointed out, Leitner is the First Assistant. He will either follow his boss' orders, or he will get fired, just like anyone else. Did Rosenthal and Holmes personally hire and fire every assistant? Some of you ADAs are so used to the culture of arrogance and entitlement that has permeated that office for decades that you just can't grasp that things are changing. Adapt or move on.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last annon. Jim Leitner is a man of his word. He is doing exactly what whomever got that job would have to do. Just because some of the dismissed ADA's followers are upset, does not mean that that any wrong doing has been done. Give Jim a chance. Did those that openly critized Pat really expect to work for her? I would like those who quietly supported Jim to step up. You knew the man then and you know the man now.

HPD 101 said...

Dear Pandering ANONS,
Only time will tell who will be more demonized at the end of the day: The Crazy Chuckster or the Troll and her Patsy (formally known as Jim Leitner)....now put your crack pipes away and get back to reality.

Anonymous said...

Okay HPD 101-
I am the last annon to write. I am not a ADA nor even an attorney! But I do know that office and I do know Jim Leitner. This office that more have not been let go. There are some there that should be on their knees asking why it wasn't them and then giving thanks.

This office was on a one way track to hell-it held no respect, was not a fair and impartial office (just get your numbers high!) and a little Peyton Place. If in an year,you can save the same about this office, I will write and say I was wrong.

Now let get good arrests, good charges and fair trials.

Anonymous said...

Those who "quietly" supported Jim, i.e., supported both teams. If those are his followers then good luck. Jim is far from a man of his word. Jim is self interested and wants to be the DA. He is a politician. If he truely were honest, he wouldn't be working for the woman he called crazy. Sure he is the same man he was, we just all finally found out "who" he really was. He is the guy that can smile, justify, and lie at will. I would like to hear and see who the "quiet ones" are. And let me tell you this much, I doubt any prosecutor would be supportive for any other reason than the fact that he is the hatchet man.

One other point, let's not discount the fact that to work for the troll, the little man had to make a choice. It isn't like he was starving and couldn't pass up the job. He ran for DA twice and lost, so he is willing to compromise his reputation to gain what he couldn't win legitimately. So, if that means he fires people he actually like to get what he wants, he will do it. That isn't being honest, it is being selfish.

It seems so obvious to me. But there will always be that little gaggle of Jim followers who support him. His little posse who follow him around the courthouse. Hey, he is a big boy, he can defend himself. This is the role he chose.

I can't wait until the defense bar turn on him when the promises made to them don't occur.

HPD 101 said...

Dearest ANON 223,
The .223 is a great round....I hope your assessment is as good and hits the mark.
As I said, only time will tell. I am merely judging little Jimmy on his performance, not the hype.....and so far his performance has been dismal. Maybe your hero can step up to the plate and 1st or 2nd chair it with Terrance and try the new cop killer. Let's see how Jimmy handles the actuality of being a prosecutor in a death capital instead of condemning those that went before him. This is a whale and a great way for him to cut his teeth. Is Jim Leitner, as you suggest, man enough to walk the walk or is he merely a manipulating self serving liar and hypocrite. I guess we'll all find out soon enough....don't you or your fellow secretaries hold your breath.

Anonymous said...

ANON 242,
I can't wait for Leitner to pick a jury. Oh, never mind what am I thinking....Jim will condemn those that get in the arena while he safely, as 1st ass., cowers behind the Troll's skirt, I mean pantsuit.....a visual of the Troll in a skirt is painfully frightening.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say this, but all these comments are getting retarded. Please, for your sakes and ours, grow up. It's like reading the comments at the Houston Chronicle. It's embarassing.

Anonymous said...

Anon 242,

I think the Leitner bashing is a bit overboard. Jim is a man of his word and is states oriented. I think you are going to be very surprised when you learn he will be sitting with Terrance Windham trying the death case against the recent cop killer. Jim has always been a prosecutor at heart and he is not taking this position for political power, he is taking this so he can honestly dispense justice. When Jim steps up to the plate, you will soon see that the office has someone that is not afraid to put his money where his mouth is. I believe you will hear soon enough, as the evidence comes in, that Jim will be trying this case.

Of course we all know the bag lady can't. Errr Troll

Anonymous said...

"I can't wait until the defense bar turn on him when the promises made to them don't occur."

You're kidding, right? Since when has what the defense bar thinks mattered to anyone anywhere in the Harris County criminal justice system? The defense bar hated Lykos when she was on the bench and it certainly had no effect on her. What makes you think it will now? The only difference now is that she is dishing her crap out at the DA's office, which heretofore has been untouchable. I don't notice any ADAs complaining about the way the defense bar is treated when you or your other division of the ADA's office, aka the district court judges, is dishing it out. And what is the deal about complaining that Leitner is firing people on Lykos' order. DUH! Its his job! Do you think that if Leitner refuses to fire someone that the person won't be fired? No, what will happen then is that Leitner and the ADA will be fired. Every year, there have been ADAs that haven't had their contracts renewed. Are you telling us that Rosenthal or Holmes personally sat down and personally informed every one of those ADAs that their contracts wouldn't be renewed? No, they did not. So how is it any different when Lykos delegates to her assistants the task of notifying people that their services are no longer required? Again, this willingness to jump on everything she does, even before she takes office, just might explain why some people are no longer employed.

Outraged said...

ANON 931,
I hope you are correct and the "Lose at All Costs" Leitner label turns out to be no more then hype. I agree it would go a long way for Leitner to try the cop killer even if it is a slam dunk (we're talking great State's facts coupled with your average Joe court appointed lawyers for the shooter....not DeGuerin& Co.). After all, cop killers were historically tried by THE DA himself in Harris County.....and the Troll, well she's just a troll and Jim is supposed to be a real trial lawyer. So let's see Jim tee it up....time for our boy to put his money where his mouth is. Notwithstanding this great opportunity to quash his detractors, I doubt Leitner will man up....the managerial shield of 1st assistant will be his absolute defense to avoid the arena.

Anonymous said...

Outraged wrote - "Jim is supposed to be a real trial lawyer. So let's see Jim tee it up....time for our boy to put his money where his mouth is."

Are you kidding me?? Jim has been trying dozens of cases each year for as long as I can remember. Don't be foolish and think he would shy away from a case or that he is still in need of proving himself as a trial lawyer. Go ahead with your bantering about how he is following Lykos, but seriously people - you are obviously all bright. Lets not let the mob mentality take over and just bash everything even remotely close to being touched by this administration.

I think this is a small piece of evidence of why someone has referred to this blog as "toxic."

OUTRAGED said...

Dearest ANON 831,
The proof is in the pudding. I would like to see little Jimmy lead by example and actually PROSECUTE not defend a case. He has critiqued our prosecutorial style for a long time so I want to see what the boy's definition of the "correct way" to prosecute is? I want to see his kinder more gentle treatment of defendants. I want to see him select a fair impartial jury without the "prejudicial" peremptory strikes he so disdains. I want to see him be more open, fair and understanding with the defense bar. I want him to show me what it takes. Will Jim "Lose at All Costs" Leitner live up to his expectations. Get in the ring and show us.

Anonymous said...

Its almost as if you are saying it can't be done... sounds like a prosecutor who is ok with "good enough". If it ain't broke don't fix it, huh? All them guys are guilty anyway, why shouldn't we stack the jury against them? Perfect.

by the way, you guys are loving this "lose at all costs" phrase... anyone care to let us in on where that came from...

OUTRAGED said...

ANON 902,
It seems improbable at best that if the "new philosophy" at HCDA is to transform prosecutorial style to one that panders to the defense bar, as proposed by Leitner, that the results will be in the best interests of the law abiding citizens of Harris County....hence the moniker "Lose at All Costs Leitner". But who the heck knows? Some even say Karla Faye really found Jesus on death row....prosecutors tend to change once they cross to the dark side.

The Phantom Bureaucrat said...

For those that believe no boss would have kept Murray employed, I feel it reasonable to point out that Lykos is not his boss any more than President elect Obama is the boss of the executive branch of the USA until he takes office. In that sense, I think Ken did a disservice to the community by allowing Jim to initiate the wave of mistrust before it was time.

Further, the thought police are firmly in place as evidenced by some of the behavior exhibited by "friends" jockeying for power under the new administration, Donna not the worst offender (but that will all come out in due time, just wait). When eating lunch with a candidate for office or throwing support for a qualified candidate becomes too much of a burden for someone, remember the costs of political patronage positions when some cop killer, baby rapist, or high stakes fraud case falls apart.

Before this gets tossed aside as a case of "sour grapes", keep in mind that while some ADAs have been let go in the past during administration changes, they were always based on "just cause" and supported by documentation tied to performance of the duties at hand. Those that think the firings are finished with might be interested in some of the backroom discussions that have a few clearly outlined plans regarding future cuts (some of which include names of those not tied to alternative political candidates other than by someone's word trying to move up faster).

The office will continue, albeit in a diminished capacity, and anyone betting the cuts are over needs to cozy up to a few of the "right" people for a clearer vision of what is set to take place because at this writing, more of the same is in store. Oh, and whatever career path Murray takes, there are plenty of honorable defense lawyers out there that don't sell their souls for a buck so if that is the route he takes, good luck to him.

Anonymous said...

Mark my words, within one year the ada's will dislike Leightner far more than Lykos. Does little Leightner still powerlift? I am always wary of little musclemen, trying to be bigger than they are. Especially those who have muscleman wives.

Anonymous said...

ANON 621,
Ahhh....the old Napoleon Complex! Henceforth, little Jimmy will be known as the Napster....kinda goes with the Chuckster. I wonder what his Waterloo will be?
What a loser on so many levels...... and the Troll hasn't even officially come on board yet

Anonymous said...

HPD 101

Good thing you are not an investigator. I am not a secretary. Again, wrong ASSumption. Hope you don't contribute your evidence to many cases.

Also, for those of you with short memories, Jim Leitner started out as a proscuter. Got his training their.

There are a hell of alot of people who care about the Defense Bar. I would hope that some of the future members (ADA's) can remember this.

If I were in trouble, who am I calling, it sure is hell not an ADA but a Defense Attorney.

HPD 101 said...

ANON 911,
How appropriate 911 turns out to be for you.
Well since you alleged to be privy to the innermost workings of HCDA and professed to not have a law degree I was torn as to what ancillary support role you played in our criminal justice system.
I ruled out you being an investigator because the conclusions you reached were so ridiculous. That left the possibility of you being a disgruntled secretary that just never quite fit in. However, your poor syntax, grammar and spelling raised a high index of suspicion that you couldn't successfully hold that position either. So I flipped a coin and "guessed" you were a bitter secretary...my bad. What is it exactly that you do?

Anonymous said...

HPD 101,
My guess is that 911 is a dwarf that collects Troll turds and will be 2nd ass. right under little Jimmy.

Anonymous said...

ANON 7:47 hit the nail on the head. Sounds like a bunch of 5th graders in here. When the DA race first started it was kind of nice to hear some interesting news on this blog. Now its just a bunch of lame name-calling and boo-hoo'ing.

Not a lot left to the blog... hopefully you find another angle. I can't see how anyone finds this stuff useful anymore.

Also - are you going to change the name of the blog now?? Isn't really relevant anymore, is it?