Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Final Week Predictions

This week should mark the final week of the 185th Grand Jury.

If I recall correctly, their original order of extension put them through February 1st.  Since they are meeting only on Tuesdays and Thursday, that would have made today (January 31st) the last day they met.  However, some time last week, I heard that they had been authorized to meet through the end of this week, and have the option of meeting on Thursday, February 2nd if need be.

At this point, anyone who is saying they know what the Grand Jury is going to do is just speculating. The common consensus around the CJC seems to be that they don't believe anyone from Pat Lykos' Administration is going to be indicted.  I'm inclined to agree that it is doubtful that there will be any indictments, and if any indictments are, in fact, returned, I doubt that they will reach the upper echelons of the Office.  According to the comments section a while back, Rachel Palmer and Jim Leitner were already planning to appear on Gary Polland and David Jones' "Red, White and Blue" TV show as soon as the investigation officially ceased.  That would certainly seem to indicate that perhaps they have some sort of inside knowledge of what the results will be.

The biggest question in my mind, however, is "what has the 185th been doing the past two weeks?"  Pat Lykos testified on January 17th, but I haven't heard of them calling any other additional witnesses since then.  Obviously any one who serves on a Grand Jury is very civically-minded, but I doubt that they would be coming in for the past two weeks just to hang out.

Someone in the comments section of one of my earlier posts mentioned that the Grand Jury has the authority to issue a report on their findings.  This is complete speculation, but perhaps the past several meetings have been drafting such a statement.  Who knows?

Whatever the 185th Grand Jury ultimately does, the Lykos Administration will spin, of course.

If indictments come down, they will blast the 185th Grand Jury for being politically motivated.  If there are no indictments, Lykos will claim that her Office cooperated completely with the investigation, thank the 185th for their hard work, and then commend them for seeing the "truth" about how the allegations were "politically motivated."

Whatever the 185th Grand Jury decides to do, I'm glad for the fact that they have at least looked into what the Pat Lykos Administration is all about.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good assessment of the situation Murray.
We will have to wait to see what they decide. It is still unclear to me if or how they can issue a report. I presume they could make some kind of report to Judge Brown as long as it excludes details of testimony given in the Grand Jury. Is there a mechanism for Judge Brown to make the report public? After all that has gone on, the public has a right to know what was determined.

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad it's coming to a close so all the titty babies here can stop crying about Lykos.

How about some new subjects.

Rage

Scott C. Pope said...

"... the public has a right to know what was determined."

Why does the public have the right to know what took place in secret proceedings? Just because you want to know?

Anonymous said...

I have no bone to pick with Pat Lykos (though her employees might)and kind of doubt that she was the motivating force behind any bat van evidence withholding. The person I hold responsible and believe is most likely behind any alleged of withholding Brady information and then retaliating regarding Amanda Culbertson is of course the person who took the stand and pleaded the fifth, Rachel Palmer. She is one vindictive, can't let anything go if she is challenged kind of person. I know this from my dealings with her and the way she smeared my client in the press with a Chronicle buddy who did not even have the decency to get our side of the story before going to press with Ms. Palmer's depiction. The way she dealt with us, including after the trial was over, by interfering in a civil matter and arguing opposite of what she did at the criminal trial was shameful and shows that she is all about the win and not about doing justice. It is my hope that the Grand Jury is going through all of her e-mails and finds the evidence they need to show she probably retaliated against Amanda Culbertson for putting holes in a bunch of her cases. She does not respect the rules of evidence or the rights of defendants. She needs to leave the DA's office, do a little defense work and round out her perspective on criminal law; unless of course she is indicted and convicted of felony retaliation and loses her law license, which would be fine too.

WESTON said...

Here is a new subject:
. The 2003 Police Lab scandal and the current BAT van scandal have one common denominator. It is not the question of whether the results were unreliable, but whether the DA submitting the evidence to the Grand Jury, or trial jury knew that the evidence was tainted.
In 2004 the Harris County Grand Jury Association submitted a proposal to restore and maintain trust between the community and the Criminal Justice System. The first of 10 suggestions:
“The DA presenting the case to the Grand Jury shall be sworn to tell the truth. This is to avoid insinuations that the DA is allowed to misrepresent facts or is able to knowingly submit inadmissible or faulty evidence to get an indictment.”

Do you think such a voluntary act by the DA could alleviate any future controversy involving similar forensic issues?

Anonymous said...

Why did the DA's office run people out of there for being ill and/or telling the truth and why do they keep people like Ms. Palmer? Hmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

Go Patriots!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pope,
Public allegations of possible misconduct by member(s) of HPD and HCDA were made. A Grand Jury has been investigating this matter for six months. The public has a right to know whether public servants paid with tax dollars may have violated the law. We may not be entitled to know specific details of testimony given in secret but there should be some way to issue a report. It is done in other states and jurisdictions. If you can't grasp this concept, then trying to further explain is a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

I don't see anything in the Code that permits grand jury report at all. Much less one that can be released to the public. Can someone point to some authority that permits this?

I hope that I am wrong. I really do.

Mark W. Stephens said...

ABC13 Reporting Breaking News:

Grand Jury ends with Insufficient Evidence: NO INDICTMENTS

Thomas Hobbes said...

And with no bang and barely a whimper it ends . . .

Anonymous said...

Good call Murray. The Chron reports no indictment.

Unfortunately, Mike Anderson's attempt to prosecute himself into office is over, and his campaign is now tarnished. Four more years of Lykos!!

Anonymous said...

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Grand-jury-won-t-indict-DA-s-office-but-issues-2871618.php

No indictments, strong rebuke. Per Chron.com--Rogers

Anonymous said...

LONG LIVE PAT LYKOS!!!1!!1!

Anonymous said...

Have the parties with direct involvement filed complaints against Lie-kos & her gang with the State Bar?

Jigmeister said...

Can't say I am surprised. The letter was a very succinct and powerful rebuke from from folks who were obviously concerned about justice and should serve as a reminder that DAs have tremendous power to affect people's lives and abuse of that power is not only unethical but dishonorable. Shame, shame Lykos.

Anonymous said...

Not the first "stain" Palmer has left, and won't be the last....

Anonymous said...

"How about some new subjects."

How about you propose some, instead of being a titty baby always cring about what a bunch of titty babies people are?

Didn't you have a blog at one time? Man up, bitch.

Anonymous said...

I think the grand jury should be investigated along with its association with Anderson, given all the clear conflicts. The Forewomen was complaining about herself being investigated the DA in Rogers article - I say GOOD, and that it is deserved. Anyone with half a brain would realize something does smell right about this entire situation, its timing, and the clear, and strong ties to the Anderson's. (See Bennett Blog story).

Anonymous said...

FOUR MORE YEARS!

Anonymous said...

I really wish I had one of these cases so I could haul in Rachel Palmer and make her plea the fifth to my face. After the way she treated me, it would be a pleasure.

At least the grand jury hit the sixth floor where it counts, in the wallet.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have an idea of how to see the letter? Chron is talking about it but of course doesn't bother to print it.

Anonymous said...

I've suggested plenty of topics 11:53, but if a chucklehead like you doesn't see a problem, there's no real sense discussing it at all.

Rage

Anonymous said...

"The stain upon HCDAO will remain regardless of any media statements issued or press conferences performed by anyone."

Is this the grand jury equivalent of "I'm rubber and you're glue..."

Anonymous said...

" there's no real sense discussing it at all."

Gee what a surprise. I guess you like the titty babies whining much more than you pretend.

Wah wah wah.

Anonymous said...

Letter re-typed

To: The Honorable Susan Brown, 185th State District Court

From: Foreman, 185TH Grand Jury, Harris County

Date: January 31, 2012

Re: Our Grand Jury Service

The members of this Grand Jury are honored to have had the opportunity to serve as Grand Jurors for the August, 2011 Term, extended to February 1, 2012 for the HPD Mobile B.A.T. Vans investigation. The privilege to serve the outstanding citizens of Harris County by participating in the determination of probable cause in felony cases and in an investigation is a unique essential to the administration of the criminal justice system, and we actively encourage other citizens to volunteer for Grand Jury Service.

Our attempts to initiate our investigation were met with unexpected resistance from persons in the Harris County District Attorney's Office (HCDAO). Nothing prepared us for the events that unfolded, some of which are documented in motions filed by the HCDAO and some are in the public domain. In the days prior to the Court's ruling authorizing the attorneys pro tem to aid in our investigation, an investigator and other senior members of the HCDAO were observed in the hallway outside our Grand Jury meeting room; we were unable to determine whether this was an effort to track the traffic of witnesses, or for purposes of intimidating memeberrs of the Grand Jury. One day while walking on a sidewalk returning from lunch break, some Grand Jury members were photographed by an unknown person in what appeared to be a government-issued vehicle, again for an unknown purpose. We discovered through our investigator that the HCDAO initiated investigations into members of the Grand Jury, teh attorneys pro tem and past and present members of the Harris County judiciary.

Our investigation was distracted by the Assistant District Attorney most responsible for the prosecution of DWI cases invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination (publicly reported). To be perfectecly clear, we know the ADA had the right to invoke the Fifth Amendment, but we are deeply troubled that any prosecutor would fear prosecution from a Grand Jury investigation. The stain upon the HCDAO will remain regardles of any media statements issued or press conferences performed by anyone.

The ultimate standard for prosecution must be much more than mere obedience to the law; it must be conduct which constantly reaffirms one's fitness for the responsibility and continuously furthers the belief that a DAO exists to ensure an even-handed administration of justice. Conduct which casts public discredit on the office of the HCDAO as well as on the administration of justice is unacceptable. While we appreciate the fine line between ethics and the law, our investigation was unable to determine that any criminlal conduct had occurred. But it is clear that the work of this Grand Jury has already resulted in some positive changes in the enforcement of DWIs in Harris County, as the HPD B.A.T. vans are being phased out. Again, we thank you for the privilege to serve our County.

Anonymous said...

the letter is on ktrk's website

Anonymous said...

There goes the belief that a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich. If any oinker deserved an orange jumpsuit, it was Racheal Palmer.

@1:59

Hey Don, how's it going? I see that you are still struggling with your grasp of the English language.

Anonymous said...

Lykos news conference quote:

"I brought back transparency to the office"

You sure did Pat. You were so transparent during the investigation we could even see you! But it was because you were in hiding from having to answer questions.

Who did his job while acting as your spy? What did that waste cost the taxpayers?

You also deny using your staff to spy on or intimidate the Grand Jury yet you assigned a DIVISION CHIEF ADA to stand outside the Grand Jury so you would know who was appearing as a witness. How much did that intimidate the Grand Jurors or the witnesses?

Shameful!

Anonymous said...

I now see how religous wars get started. Lykos is the anti-Christ.

WESTON said...

Numerous examples exist throughout the history of Texas courts of grand jury reports being published in the newspapers or otherwise made public. Pursuant to Article 20.02(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, "The proceedings of the grand jury shall be kept secret." In equally simple terms it is obvious that a report is not a "proceeding." It is the output that is the result of a proceeding. It is just as public as any other action by the grand jury, such as indictments or no-bills. The indictments and no-bills issued by a grand jury are not proceedings either, they are in effect, reports of actions taken and they are public information.

For decades Harris County Grand Jury reports were issued at the end of term. These reports called attention to the conditions in the county, including, but not limited to the conditions of detention facilities, treatment of prisoners, forensic facilities, etc. These reports, however, were withheld from incoming Grand Juries because most DAs preferred to deal with jurors who were not familiar with the issues. Withholding these reports was intended to prevent “run-away Grand Juries” that may shake up the comfortable old-boy system.

The new six-month term for Grand Juries will create educated Grand Jurors and you may expect more vigorous Grand Jury actions that may shake up the Criminal Justice establishment.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 11:25 AM

The authorization for the conclusions of the GJ lies in the 1st Amendment. If that is not enough authorization for you, then perhaps you can tell me what part of GJ proceedings were revealed in the letter.