Okay, my friends, I'm trying to shake off the week-long funk I've been in, and get back to talking about some more Harris County-relevant topics here.
Last week, a popular blog known as "The Daily Beast" (which is somehow affiliated with Newsweek Magazine) published a glowing article on Pat Lykos, calling her the "Texas Capital Punishment Avenger". I was alerted to the article being published by our friend, Brian Wice, who wanted to make sure that I saw his "Joan Collins on her menstrual cycle" comment.
I had known the article was coming, however. The author of it, Ben Crair, had contacted me and we had spoken between 30 to 45 minutes about my thoughts on Lykos.
Now, keep in mind, whenever I get interviewed by a member of the media about my thoughts on Lykos and the job she is doing, I'm the first person to acknowledge that I've got my biases. And I did so in my talk with Crair.
I told him of my issues about what she has done to destroy morale at the Office and the mass exodus of good prosecutors -- you know, that stuff that people outside of the CJC don't really seem to give a rat's ass about.
But I also pointed out with Crair that Lykos had done some positive things there, as well. As you know, I've agreed with her policy of turning over offense reports to defense attorneys, and (although I got some serious flak from my police officer friends) the decision not to file crack pipe residue cases.
Our conversation then turned to Capital Punishment and the fact that the Office is seeking the Death Penalty less and less often. I told him that even though I was a believer in the Death Penalty, I thought that the addition of Life Without Parole a few years back had alleviated the need to seek it as often as in the past. I also stated that I think that Society has grown more scarred as a whole and those crimes that truly shock the conscience are fewer and further between.
The one case that truly stands out in my mind of where Lykos pled out a case that, in my opinion, should have gone to a jury to decide whether or not the Death Penalty was appropriate is Randy Sylvester. I still don't get that one.
But, apparently, at the end of the day, Crair wasn't all that interested in printing anything negative (or even debatable) about Pat Lykos. He wanted to write a puff-piece that celebrated her for doing what she does best -- play politics.
I guess the thing that still just continues to befuddle me is how Lykos is able to remain such a darling with hard-core Republicans while at the same time pandering to the Anti-Death Penalty groups so strongly that she gets the label of "Texas Capital Punishment Avenger". I mean, Lykos plays both sides of the fence better than Mata Hari. (NOTE: I know that analogy is not near as good as Wice's Joan Collins analogy, but give me a break. I've had a bad week.)
In the end, it is the same old story that it has always been with Lykos. She is a media darling. She always has been. She always will be. The day of judging a candidate for their true substance and leadership is lost amongst soundbites and media agencies celebrating the candidate that best conforms to their own agenda.
Crair's article is nothing new.