Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Significant Ruling

Ted Oberg at Channel 13 did a report tonight on County Court at Law # 1 Judge Paula Goodhart granting a Writ filed Defense Attorney Brent Mayr in a B.A.T. Van case.

The long story short is that Brent took a case to trial earlier this year where his client was charged with D.W.I. and the results of an intoxilyzer from a B.A.T. Van were used in the trial.  The client was convicted and Brent filed this Writ on the grounds that the Harris County District Attorney's Office failed to turn over exculpatory evidence to him regarding the reliability of the vans.  In essence, the allegations of the Writ were Prosecutorial Misconduct that resulted in his client not receiving a fair trial.

Judge Goodhart granting the Writ is tremendously significant, because that means that she felt the facts of the case supported what Brent said in his Writ -- the Harris County District Attorney's Office withheld exculpatory evidence.  Regardless of what happens with the 185th Grand Jury, we now have an official ruling from a court that Pat Lykos' gang is definitely not shooting straight when it comes to the Rules of Evidence.

As I was thinking about the significance of this Writ being granted, it jogged my memory to an incident that had occurred earlier on in the Lykos Administration.  Apparently, allegations of withholding evidence favorable to a client isn't something exclusive to B.A.T. vans.

If you will recall, back in October of 2009, a hearing was conducted in a Child Abuse case where a Judge found that the District Attorney's Office had withheld Brady (exculpatory) material in trial.  At that point, although the Judge made the ruling, it was found to be "harmless" error because the trial was still proceeding.  Little ever became of the issue after the trial.

But another one of the similarities that I recalled from the 2009 trial was the role of a Whistleblower.

In the Child Abuse case, a Harris County D.A. paralegal named Kim Flores confirmed that exculpatory evidence had been withheld.  Ms. Flores suffered the same fate that Amanda Culbertson is currently going through.

Rather than be rewarded for bringing to light the D.A.'s Office's errors, she got fired (after she had turned in her resignation letter).

She wrote about it on the blog back in 2009.

At some point, I'm hoping that the folks around this county are going to take notice of the Lykosian method of dealing with Brady violations.  It is worth noting that thus far, there has been no statement from Lykos or her Council of Geniuses that condemn the hiding of exculpatory evidence.

At a minimum, I suppose that Kim Flores and Amanda Culbertson can at least start a support group for each other.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like the way he used her timeline on her website in lieu of an official response from her, since he can't get one. Good job on pointing out the timeline flaws too.

Anonymous said...

Alright, let's be fair here. Hiding the ball is not a strictly Lykosian problem.

How many years has the HCDAO been aware of studies regarding the accuracy of eyewitness identification, best practices in police line ups, ballistics studies, arson science, etc., all while continuing to use those faulty methods to gain convictions? Years.

Y'all agree that Lykos does it, but certainly not that Holmes ever did (exonerations tell a different story though), and maybe not that Rosenthal did. And where did John Bradley learn to play the game again? His ass is finally being exposed to the world for what he is.

The BAT vans are by FAR the least troubling thing coming out of the HCDAO in decades. Nobody will ever get life or be put to death because of a BAT van. But the history of this office and recent exonerations tell us that it is very likely that there are scores of cases where Holmes and Rosenthal hid the ball because they didn't think the exculpatory evidence was "material" (in other words, they fixed the testimony or evidence so they don't see how the previous evidence really matters).

This problem is pandemic to the office of District Attorney across the state, and has been for years. And will continue to be. If this small issue helps bring the larger ones to light, great. My guess, however, is that all the whining ADAs (and Seaton, assuming he still has a job, or Black Ink, assuming he cares to do anything but cry about Lykos and Obama) will simply try to use this to get rid of Lykos (fat chance) and then hope things can get back to normal after she's gone. That way they can continue to use, manipulate, or create faulty evidence in whichever way they want, just like it's been done for years.

Rage

BLACK INK said...

The pesky mosquito--small and seemingly insignificant; but on occasion the bearer of horrific disease never the less.

Over generalization in support of negative stereotyping is the foundation of bigotry and racism.....it reveals a deep hatred, insecurity and ignorance.

Human Beings are complex and none of us is pure and without sin.
We can choose to focus on the negatives of an individal(s)in a particular class we do not like and over generalize (ie. Rosenthal and Lykos are corrupt DAs therefore all prosecutors are corrupt; inversely--all black men are predatory to white women, therefore Herman Cain, as part of that class, is a sexual predator etc.); OR, we can step outside the box of ignorance.

Pat Lykos and Chuck Rosenthal are who they are because of their core values; NOT because they are or were DAs.
To conclude that American prosecutors should be condemned as a class because of a statistically few rotten Lykoses or Rosenthals is illogical.

Anonymous said...

Bingo--told you not a word about Holmes would be said. Ignoring the obvious problems under all three of those DAs is not really a sign of ignorance, but dishonesty.

Maybe Black Ink should run for DA after all.

Nice red herring with the racism and bigotry charge, too. You've learned from Lykos well.

Rage

Anonymous said...

Yeah, because Goodhardt isn't biased. I mean, her husband did get fired by Lykos (i.e. - his contract was not renewed). But she can be fair.

Just Say'in.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:54,

To know Lykos is to hate Lykos and all the judges at the CJC know Lykos and therefore must all recuse themselves, cracka puleeze.
It ain't the message it's the messenger crap is getting old.
Put your crack pipe down, bring Patsy a smoke, Jack & Coke and shut the f*ck up.

P.S. don't be a dumb ass all your life like rageboy.

Anonymous said...

"That way they can continue to use, manipulate, or create faulty evidence in whichever way they want, just like it's been done for years. "

Ok--I've tried to play nicely, but I won't have you impugn my character in any way. If you have something to say to me, say it to my face please. I worked my tail off as an ADA to do what was right every single day, and everyone I associated myself with did the same thing. I don't give two shits if you blather on about a load of crap you know nothing about--it's your stock in trade after all. But don't you ever state or imply that I ever did anything remotely close to what you are saying here. If you want to contact me, get my email from Murray. If not, don't say things that could, and should, get the crap beat out of you.

Seaton

Anonymous said...

I don't intend to be this way all my life.

Rage

Anonymous said...

Rage in this corner and Black Ink ink in this corner. My money would be on Black Ink. I love this blog!! My daily dose of umm rage and reality.

Anonymous said...

Criminal Justice according to Rage:
Police sit at the station because they can't be trusted.
Prosecutors sit in the office because they can't' be trusted.
Judge sit in chambers because they can't be trusted.
Criminals wander the streets because they can be trusted. After all, the jails are filled with innocent people.
Yes, Rage has his hand up again, look at me, look at me. Jr. high all over again.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rage why don't you read Black Ink's latest tribute to Johnny Holmes. You'll stroke out and we'll be done with you.

XOXOXO,

Friends of Arthur Seaton, Inc.

Anonymous said...

I love Seaton.

Anonymous said...

Why is no one mentioning the fact that this defense attorney claiming Brady violations now had a Brady violation sustained against him for withholding evidence when he was a prosecutor in VATS...irony?

Anonymous said...

Big words from a small man.

Seaton, I wish I gave enough of a shit about you to fight. I'd beat the dog out of you.

As for your character, your posts tell me all I need to know about you. You speak of being an ADA in the past tense--if so, great. That means you can do no more harm. Hopefully you've given up being a lawyer altogether. That way you won't make the rest of us look bad any longer.

Rage

Anonymous said...

Any ad hominem attack on the unnamed pesky mosquito [see - Black Ink, 8:19 (11/10/11)] would merely serve to continue to reward the pesky mosquito's appetite for self aggrandizement - it should not and will not be so gratified herein. But, perhaps a dose of Raid or a other similar spray might be appropriate to end the annoyance of this individual one and for all times. For those actually knowing Johnny Holmes, though, prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, and those with an actual law practice (and not those who think that all prosecutors are corrupt per se) these individuals all knew that he had but one philosophy, that being not to prosecute a case that would cause a damn fool or unjust result. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the philosophy of the current administration.
Calvin A. Hartmann

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha. I knew you were far too much of a pussy and blowhard Rage. It was a waste of keystrokes to even think you'd act like a man. Good luck in the future. Perhaps there's a niche in the legal world for little bitches.

I'm sure I speak for all current and former ADAs who did their job and did it well when I tell you to go fuck yourself. I wasn't doing the job for you anyway. Real people with real problems need the DA, and they need good defense lawyers. The more you stay out if it all, the better for everyone.

Seaton

Anonymous said...

Oh good God Seaton, those holes in your hands and feet must really make it hard to get around.

Rage

Anonymous said...

Just checking Hartmann, but isn't that an ad hominem attack?

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how everyone is skating past the fact the Mayr has had his own issues with Brady violations when he was a DA but now that he is on the other side nobody cares about that. Now it's just he is a great guy getting justice. What a bunch of BS. Man, talk about the pot calling the kettle black..
Let's also just disregard all of the interviews that he did talking about what a great tool those vans are. That doesn't matter anymore either I guess.
If all of this keeps up, there won't be anymore breath testing in Houston and then it's all blood cases. Is that really what we want?? Somehow I don't think so.
Don't try to convince me for a second that any of this is about "justice". This is all about Mayr trying to get more face time in front of a camera...

Anonymous said...

Rage you just can't help yourself can you. You must be a little man, you sure have the little man syndrome.

Mr. Seaton, God bless you. Don't lose your temper over the little man.

Anonymous said...

Amen anon 12:54

Anonymous said...

The first time I ever laid eyes on Brent Mayr was at law school orientation. He was chatting with some people outside the auditorium and the whole time he talked he was taking practice golf swings.

For about 15 minutes he went through the whole routine: the pre-swing, the butt wiggle, the approach shot, a couple chips here and there, putts. Put on a real show for his new classmates. I've always remembered that because I think it sums him up as a lawyer perfectly.

The Book of Lykos said...

Anon 5:08,

When the message cannot be attacked on the merits attack the messenger.

--The Book of Lykos

A quote from the Book of Lykos said...

WHISKEY

In 1852, Patsy Lykos, a member of the Texas House of Representatives, was asked about her position on whiskey. What follows is her exact answer (taken from the Political Archives of Texas):

"If you mean whiskey, the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.

However, if by whiskey you mean the lubricant of conversation, the philosophic juice, the elixir of life, the liquid that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life's great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into Texas treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it.

This is my position, and as always, I refuse to compromise on matters of principle."

Thus the genesis of Lykosian double talk.