Monday, October 4, 2010

The Shamelessness of Pat Lykos

In this morning's Houston Chronicle, there is an editorial entitled "Laurels for Lykos".

In the editorial, the author of the editorial lauds Lykos from clearing out the DNA backlog (which was underway long before she got there) and for her launching the investigation into the death of Asher Brown (which I mentioned in the post below).

The praise that they are heaping on Lykos becomes so frenzied that the author even has to blurt out: "It's hard to imagine Lykos' predecessor, Chuck Rosenthal, concerning himself about such an issue [Asher Brown]. The DA's office has certainly changed, and for the better."

Well, the author of that is kind of correct about that, actually. Chuck Rosenthal wouldn't have launched an investigation into Asher Brown's suicide.

Because Chuck Rosenthal would have known that there wasn't a crime to investigate.

Asher Brown committed suicide because he was being bullied at school. The bullies who picked on him for being small, poor, or gay were despicable beyond imagine. They should be suspended from school. They should have to be known for what they did to that poor little boy for the rest of their lives.

But under the laws of the State of Texas and the laws of the United States, they committed no crimes. Under the First Amendment, which protects the rights of the Weak Minded to spew out idiotic opinions (like the Editorial Board of the Chronicle does every day), those nasty children that tormented Asher Brown can say whatever they want and be free of prosecution from the government.

And Pat Lykos knows that.

She also knows that Asher Brown's death is something that will garner National Media Attention. Announcing that there will be "an investigation" does nothing more than hitch Pat Lykos' bandwagon to Asher's death.

There is certainly nothing substantive that a criminal investigation will lead to.

Jeff Cohen over at the Chronicle should know better. He's married to a defense attorney. Hell, even Brian Rogers is an attorney.

And if you don't believe me that there isn't a charge to file on the bullies who taunted Asher, pick up a copy of the damn Penal Code.

What Pat Lykos did by announcing her "investigation" into Asher Brown's death was to stand over the grave of a poor and desperate child and attempt to turn it into a campaign rally. She hijacked a tragedy for her own selfish purposes.

It's called exploitation for you morons over at the Chronicle, and you are applauding her for it.

The editorial wraps up with this: "Her concern over Asher Brown's tragic suicide, and her decision to examine its causes, is a reminder that, even in Harris County, a DA can be both tough on crime and compassionate."

No. Not quite. As a matter of fact, during her tenure, Lykos has proven that she is neither tough on crime nor compassionate.

She is just a politician.

A politician who wants to ride on the shoulders of a dead 13-year-old into a second term.

With the Chronicle cheering her on all the way.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

The term you are looking for is "Coffin-Riding".

Anonymous said...

That was my first reaction to the story last week, "What crime is she investigating?!?! Show me in the penal code!" Any "findings" she comes up with will be nothing more than fodder for the civil lawyers suing the school district. What happed to the boy is inexcusable, but using it for publicity makes me sick.

Anonymous said...

Re: "She is just a politician" - YOU are correct! In fact it's fair to say she is MORE a politician - than a prosecutor.

Notice I didn't say prosecutor. Prosecutors are hired trial lawyers for the State. Hired - I might add by the ELECTED DISTRICT ATTORNEY WHO HAS TO BE A PANDERING POLITICAL ANIMAL in order to get ELECTED!

Lykos never has been, nor will she ever be, a prosecutor. But the thing "Old Guard Holmes / Rosenthal" prosecutors MUST realize by now - like it or not this lady KNOWS how to politic! She knows how to get elected.

Sure - it's a given that she hasn't the foggiest idea how to prosecute - but this doesn't matter. ONCE AGAIN I don't blame any PROSECUTOR for bitching about the "State of The Union" over at the Office. Ultimately - forget how many capital murder trials you have, or how long you have been in this or that Bureau. PROSECUTORS will NEVER get elected until they know how to be POLITICIANS! Not right - but this IS factual!

Anonymous said...

Murray,
What's really fun about you is watching you get slapped around and you not even know it. I got to tell you though your a real easy target.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 9:13,
I'm not feeling too slapped around, so I guess you are correct about me not knowing it. Did you have something substantive to add? Nice grammar, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, the death of this young person was a tragedy, and if in fact bullying by others was a contributing factor to that death, appropriate action should be taken against those involved. As essentially noted by this blog,though, political correctness is not yet a singular commponent of the penal code (except as enhanced "hate crime", 12.47 P.C.). Unfortunately, but as usual, the expected cast of characters, like vermin feeding, in the form of the press and the politicians, have once again used a tragedy for their own self-aggrandizement or to advance an agenda. In one respeect this blog is technically incorrect, however, as to whether there is a crime which Lykos might investigate. Since she probably employs the penal code as a dust collecting decoration, but in no way suggesting that the facts support any such charges in this case, maybe one of her lap dogs might wish to read 46.13(b)(e), P.C., at least for future reference.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to see the bullies, who she obviously is going after, hire an excellent attorney who could get the media's attention and point out there is no crime on the books to support her investigation. Although his death is tragic and sad, its pretty obvious the bullying going on at the school was only one part of some issues going on in the boy's life. If he had told his parents a day or so earlier that he was gay, and they were so accepting, you would think that would be a load off the boy's mind and ease his stress. I understand the boy's older brother has had issues leading him to be placed in an alternative school. I'm guessing there were a lot of problems going on in that home that aren't as attention grabbing as the bullying story, not to mention the family left a loaded gun out where the boy could get to it. Given so much attention has been given in the past to the "why didn't they lock up that gun" story, I'm thinking the parents ran to the media with the bullying side of this before anyone jumped on the fact about the available handgun. Its a shame so many lawsuits will be filed, county money will be wasted, and the Cy-Fair district will ultimately pay money out, which could have been better spent on education including tolerance education and anti-bullying campaigns. Lykos just upped the expense by not letting this political soap box opportunity slip past her.

Anonymous said...

Brian Rogers wonders why no one with the DA’s office or who has left the DA’s office will talk to him. Well Brian, if you read the Lykos re-election campaign press release (todays editorial) in your paper, then you should know that no one trusts you or your bosses to report the truth. Of course the editorial had to refer to Chuck Rosenthal. They can not get over Rosenthal and will crow about Rosenthal forever. Now if Rosenthal had an opponent in the primary, who after losing said he would not endorse anyone but then endorsed Rosenthal and subsequently was hired as the first assistant, the Chronicle would have been screaming. If the first assistant had then hired his former law partner and his former campaign treasurer as high paid supervisors, the Chronicle would have been screaming. If Rosenthal had hired a buddy with no experience as a high paid bureau chief, the Chronicle would have been screaming. If Rosenthal had hired a constable with no investigative experience as a high paid investigator and used the “investigator” as a driver and photographer, the Chronicle would have been screaming. If Rosenthal had then hidden the names and thus the salaries of the investigators by claiming they might be subject to undercover work (something never done in the history of the HCDA’s office), the Chronicle would have been screaming. And the Chronicle would have been rightly screaming. Where is the scream? Where is the outrage? Brian?

Anonymous said...

When the Houston Post expired, the Houston Chronicle, instead of seizing the oportunity to become the sole primary purveyor of truth in Houston, opted, it now appears to become its resident primary prevaricator, and most particularly in those matters of interest to its editorial staff as evidenced by the syrupy Lykos editorial of recent date. The apparent disingenousness of the Chronicle is particularly magnified in that article in its unjustified cheerleading for Lykos. The one thing that thus appears to be common to both the narcisstic Lykos and the Chronicle, however, is the apparent sheer incompetnce of both in their respective vocations. As Lykos searches for a law, any law, to prosecute for bullying (good luck), perhaps the Chronicle could search for a reason, any reason, to once again become a respectable and trustworthy newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Objection Your Honor - the Chronicle is NOT relevant anymore - SUSTAINED! THE PUBLIC WILL DISREGARD THE PAPER IN ITS ENTIRETY EXCEPT FOR THE WEATHER, SPORTS AND OBITUARY SECTIONS BUT ONLY IF THE MEMBERS OF THE JURY PANEL WERE ACTUALLY PRESENT AT "THE GAME, FUNERAL OR PERSONALLY EXPERIENCED OR IS EXPERIENCING THE WEATHER FIRSTHAND! 3 cheers for the "Dead Tree Scrolls"

Anonymous said...

I am curious if the DA will charge the parents with the only obvious crime committed here? Art. 46.13, PC, -- making a firearm accessible to a child? This is a class A misd due to the child's death.

Something is wrong about this story. There are reports that the stepfather says the child told him he was gay that same day, but the stepfather was "ok" with that. And the school says the only email they received from the mother had to do with keeping an eye on her son for something that was happening at home.

I don't doubt the bullying happened, but I think there is something more going on at home and if there wasn't a violation of 46.13, there wouldn't have been a suicide.

My heart aches for the loss of this child. May he rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

Hold your horses! Lykos is on the front page again. Brian "Tubby" Rogers is at the helm. I bet AHCL is going to have fun with this latest piece.

Civil suits?

Anonymous said...

Your tone and personal attacks certainly pander to your average (or below) ADA commenting here, but you have a real opportunity to make your point with your posts in a way that would gain traction with the every day public--especially the voters that could actually help change things. Grits had it right--you have good points, but the personal grudge gets in the way.

Rage

david said...

Anon 5:41, the parents would face the grand jury under Rosenthal.

david said...

Anon 5:41, the parents would have faced the grand jury under Rosenthal.

BLACK INK said...

David,

Neither of us are Rosenthal supporters; but I take issue with your unfounded comments.

The Texas Penal Code provides for the punishment of an individual who fails to keep a firearm from getting into the hands of a minor. Unlike Lykos who drafts her own legislation e.g. DIVERT; Rosenthal never did.

Secondly, of all the suicides by firearm committed by minors in Harris County during Rosenthals tenure as DA; EXACTLY how many charges were brought against the parents whose gun was used?
Notwithstanding, the bad behavior, real or imagined, of an individual does not excuse that of another.

Pat Lykos' parasitic behavior is reprehensible on every level.

Anonymous said...

david:

Rosenthal had his faults but at least he would have known there is no statute against bullying. The Grand Jury doesn't consider matters unless there is an appearance of a statute being violated. Additionally, Rosenthal's demise is evidence that he wasn't a political creature. You're ignoring the point of these posts: Lykos is solely a political creature. She doesn't know the law, has never prosecuted a criminal case in her life, and continues to tear apart an organization at the expense of its employees and the taxpayers. She does this solely for political and personal purposes.

Anonymous said...

Rage-I think Murray's tone is absolutely appropriate. If one is campaigning for office using the death of a 13-year old boy as part of their strategy, they deserve every bit of contempt they get.

Anonymous said...

Great post. My guess is that there is no investigation. I haven't heard of anyone partaking in this investigation. Perhaps Pat is doing it herself ... wait... she has never prosecuted anything and probably doesn't know how to begin conducting such

Anonymous said...

I think Pat's scheme is simply to make the public think she is the big bad super hero who took care of the bullies. The problem is the public assumes she did what she said she was going to do without realizing it wasn't one of her super powers. Hopefully the opposing candidate in 2012 can point that out to the public in a way that makes common sense.

Anonymous said...

There is anecdotal evidence that the Chronicle editorial staff is placing Lykos detractors "under review" so that their comments cannot be seen by the general public. I stumbled onto this information almost by accident, but appears to be true.

Anonymous said...

The Chronicle is a running joke with how they sideline commentators over petty issues. Most folks just sign up for multiple accounts and move on, waiting for the next round of mystery editorial banishings to start the process over again.

david said...

I am aware of 6 cases during the Rosenthal era where parents were brought before a grand jury for making a gun available to a child, and 4 were no billed. I believe only 1 involved a suicide.

I believe more was read into my comment than is there - I did not state an opinion on whether it was right or wrong; merely what would have been done.

I make no bones about my disdain for the Chuckster. However, I like to believe I do not see matters as black or white. I think Rosenthal would have thought it his duty, under the law, to make sure the matter was investigated and presented to the grand jury. No more, no less.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Murray, in your post just prior to this you wrote that "As lawyers, we have the opportunity to combat bullying more so than most. Prosecutors have the ability to stop some bullies by putting them in prison." Then the moment Lykos agrees with you you flip flop!

I tend to agree prosecution of teen bullies is unlikely, unwise, and probably impossible under current law. But you shouldn't change your own stance just because your sworn enemy agrees with you for once.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Scott/Grits,

Lykos isn't fighting bullying, she's capitalizing on it.

What I was pointing out in the previous post were specific things that we can do. Launching a fake investigation into something for press isn't one of them.

To launch her "investigation" means one of two things. Either 1) she's taking advantage of a young boy's suicide for political reasons or 2) she's too stupid to realize there isn't a law that prohibits "bullying".

Although the potential for #2 is huge, my money is on #1.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Flip ... Flop!

So exactly WHAT did you mean when you said "Prosecutors have the ability to stop some bullies by putting them in prison"? If you now say there are no laws against bullying, exactly what were you talking about? Were you just "too stupid to realize there isn't a law" against bullying? Your response simply doesn't reconcile those contradicting sentiments. What "specific" things can prosecutors do with bullies? Earlier you suggested "putting them in prison," but now you say that can't be done. So what are you suggesting as a practical matter?

IMO, your hatred of Pat Lykos is clouding your judgment. You've decided up front that if she's for it, you're against it. The problem is, this time you staked out your position first, then had to backtrack when she agreed with you that prosecutors have the ability to address the problem.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Grits,

Okay, seriously, as inexplicable as you find my distaste for Lykos, I find your fondness of her even more perplexing. As a matter of fact, I've given Lykos credit for several things when I agreed with her. The turning over of offense reports, the mental health court, the veteran's court, and the decision not to file trace cases.

But you guys at the Innocence Project and the Houston Chronicle have been stunning in the way y'all have seemed to believe that her sh*t don't stink.

What I meant in the post preceding this one about prosecutors being able to stand up to bullies were those bullies which had violated THE PENAL CODE! I didn't realize I was being too vague by that. Those cowards and bullies that physically assault or even threaten their spouses. The robbers who terrorize bank tellers. The people that would sexually assault or murder children.

THAT is WHAT I meant by saying that prosecutors had the ability to stop bullying.

However, if you want to go look up in the Penal Code for an offense called "Bullying", it is going to make for a pretty light read. Lykos knows that. And she knows that there isn't a damn thing to charge a kid with because he was just being a bully. She is only asserting herself into a media worthy moment to get some attention to herself, which is pathetic, in my opinion.

But the Chronicle eats her crap up and then asks for seconds. It is disgusting.

If you'll notice, when I wrote the first post about bullying, I had already characterized Lykos' "investigation" as something that would lead nowhere.

There is no flip-flopping, here, my friend.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Murray, my point is that it isn't all about Pat Lykos, and this has nothing to do with my former employers at the Innocence Project.

I'm not saying her shit don't stink. I don't really care about her at all; I've only spoken to her once in my life and have no stakes one way or another. I'm saying you're losing focus by making everything about HER and reflexively attacking her even when she agrees with you.

What exactly from her statements makes you think her investigation isn't looking into potential violations of the Penal Code, just as you now suggest? In reality, that's the only reasonable way to interpret her announcement, but you seem compelled to find some way to blame her. You absolutely flip flopped, and it's a shame you can't recognize it through your haze of disgust when it's so obvious.

Maybe Kelly Siegler can run next time and your candidate will win. Until then, as a reader I wish you'd stop defining yourself on this blog as merely being against Pat Lykos and instead tell us more frequently what you're for.

rodsmith said...

i would suggest your lawyers wake up and smell the coffee! this statement is a crock!

"However, if you want to go look up in the Penal Code for an offense called "Bullying", it is going to make for a pretty light read. Lykos knows that. And she knows that there isn't a damn thing to charge a kid with because he was just being a bully."

Horse pucky! there are plenty of charges that cover that kind of activity. Assaut for one! criminal liabel for another! Of course non of it would matter of parents and schools did like the old days and made CITIZENS! If this had been me. the school would get one chance to deal with the. the police would get one change. After that next time they got in my face they would simply be DEAD! and i'd dare anyone to say a word about it! the first admentdment does NOT give you the right to abuse someone PERIOD! You can talk all the crap you want generally but once you move from that to getting into someone's face with hate speech your done!


plus i have a simple rule! If you get get so agravated and dispondent i'm thinking of killing myself. YOU WILL GO FIRST!

then of course the agravation is gone and i don't need to leave!