The Chronicle calls Lykos' move "bold".
I'll call it something else -- smart.
Yes, I know you are probably shocked that I agree with Pat Lykos on something, but let's look at what other choice does she really have in this matter at this point? The Harris County District Attorney's Office has registered their objection to the hearing taking place at all. They have put those objections in writing and Judge Fine has overruled them and is proceeding with the hearing anyway.
So, the move Lykos and Company are making is really the only one they can play now. They don't believe that the hearing has any legal value because it isn't something authorized by the Code of Criminal Procedure. Legally and respectfully, they aren't going to justify its existence by participating in it.
And, in this, I think they are taking the right tactic.
When I was in law school, I interviewed then-District Attorney Johnny Holmes about the Death Penalty. One of the many things he pointed out to me when I interviewed him that afternoon was that he would never participate in a Death Penalty debate, despite the fact that he was constantly bombarded with invitations to do so. The point that Mr. Holmes made to me was that the Death Penalty is something that is such a hot-button issue that it is deeply ingrained in the way a person thinks and feels. Much like issues of abortion or anything else that ties into a person's definition of religion and/or morality, one's feelings on the Death Penalty aren't going to get changed by a debate.
He was right, and the Lykos crew is treating the hearing in Judge Fine's court as a very public debate in a courtroom. What is the point in entering into it?
I like Judge Fine, and I think his heart is in the right place. I also think he has courage in his attack on the Death Penalty. It is certainly not going to be the most politically savvy move he has made on the bench.
But he knows that.
And he's proceeding anyway.
I find his principles admirable, even though I don't really agree with what he's doing.
I had a talk with Pat McCann last night over, um, coffee, about whether or not the hearing in the 177th would actually change anything. We disagreed over whether or not it would. Personally, I think the hearing will bring a lot of attention to the Death Penalty in Texas, but I don't think it will change anything directly.
But, I could be wrong about that. I have been before.
In the meantime, grab some popcorn and sit back and watch. It should be interesting.