An insider's view of what is really happening in the Harris County Criminal Courts
Damn, I'm gonna quote her next time they offer my client with a tenth of gram of coke 6 months in state jail.
Harris County has always made up their own laws.
WOW...I am not surprised by her answer, I just can't believe that some one who DEMANDS that you call her Judge, answered NO....The time has come to vote her and the royal court out of office. This type of answer not only hurts the public but encourages lawless behavior.
Murray: Your posting is "contaminated" with other unrelated entries, including Obama postings, following the end of Anderson video. It seems that somebody apparently has put a virus on your system.Calvin A. Hartmann
Hulk no want Lykos to be DA.Lykos think drugs not illegal.Lykos stupid.Anderson prove that.Anderson ask question.Lykos only give one word answer.Lykos say "No."Lykos not say anything else.19 second clip very fair and substantive.19 second clip that cuts stupid Lykos off after one word give Hulk everything Hulk needs to make informed decision.Hulk vote for Mike Anderson.
Maybe she's holding......
The Houston Bar Asssociation is having a Bench Bar Conference on April 19, 2012 addressing criminal law and appellate matters. Although the subject matter would clearly be over Lykos' head this might be a good place to at least go and start to learn some criminal law. Lykos' dumbfounding response to Mike Anderson's question reminds of a book that Bert Graham had in his office entitled "My Life in Court." If one opened it up one found a bunch of blank pages. The content on the pages in that book are the equivalent of Lykos' knowledge of Texas criminal law - an empty page.Calvin A. Hartmann
Calvin,I could swear that book you refer to dealt with Golf. Either way, Lykos could NEVER be self-deprecating and humorous regarding herself; she’s too thin skinned. Bert knows the law, how to prosecute death penalty cases, play golf, MANAGE PROSECUTORS, has integrity and horse sense to boot.You have all the above as well - except for Golf - :>) and you've forgotten more law than Lykos ever WILL know!YOU and Bert are good people. I worked more with Bert, but Tim Taft and Harvey Hudson, and Bill Delmore, all sure pulled my fat out of the fire at a moment's notice.Alumna...
Who is that short dude in the background behind the old goat? Is there a way to see footage past the 18 second mark to see what his reaction is to her "no" comment? Did he vomit in his mouth by chance?
Murray,Thought it'd be good for the non-lawyers (and anyone who thinks Lykos knows the law) to post the verbage of the code. There's absolutely no room for argument that this sections covers ANY amount when it includes the phrase "less than one gram"...that pretty much covers any tiny amount. If you don't like it, change the law in Austin, don't just decide on your own to ignore it.(a) Except as authorized by this chapter, a person commits an offense if the person knowingly or intentionally possesses a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1, unless the person obtained the substance directly from or under a valid prescription or order of a practitioner acting in the course of professional practice.(b) An offense under Subsection (a) is a state jail felony if the amount of the controlled substance possessed is, by aggregate weight, including adulterants or dilutants, less than one gram.(c) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the third degree if the amount of the controlled substance possessed is, by aggregate weight, including adulterants or dilutants, one gram or more but less than four grams.(d) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the second degree if the amount of the controlled substance possessed is, by aggregate weight, including adulterants or dilutants, four grams or more but less than 200 grams.(e) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the first degree if the amount of the controlled substance possessed is, by aggregate weight, including adulterants or dilutants, 200 grams or more but less than 400 grams.(f) An offense under Subsection (a) is punishable by imprisonment in the institutional division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for life or for a term of not more than 99 years or less than 10 years, and a fine not to exceed $100,000, if the amount of the controlled substance possessed is, by aggregate weight, including adulterants or dilutants, 400 grams or more.
Mike Anderson asks Pat Lykos: Is possession of a trace amount of a controlled substance a crime?Pat Lykos answers: No and is immediately cut off.Since the tape was cut at that precise moment how can anyone be expected to come to a fair and reasonable conclusion from a statement taken out of context like that?My understanding is that Pat Lykos' positon on trace cases is not the "throw the book at 'em" type of crime Mike Anderson wants it to be with respect to punishment.In fact Marc Levin wrote a good article in last Sunday's Houston Chronicle, "Crime is down and so is the cost of fighting it".Mike Anderson might want to take a step back and use reason and common senseAs some might recall, Chuck Rosenthal believed that sodomy between consenting adult gay men was also a "crime" and quoted the Texas Penal Code all the way to the US Supreme Court. This is the 21st century where Wyatt Earp "justice", angry intolerance and rigid indifference are not mitigated by cutting off a mustache. If the Mike Anderson camp thinks that Rick Santorum's judgmental attitude and intolerance is appealing to the majority of Texas Republican primary voters than he is making the correct call.I think that is a grave misjudgment.Just Sayin'
That was a completely unfair question. It requires knowledge of the law which we all know Lykos simply does not possess. In addition, Lykos did not have the opportunity to have her investigators follow and photograph Mike Anderson. Nor did she have time to have her chief investigator run a background check on Mike Anderson for potential questions. Lykos did not have the opportunity to send Lietner to Mike Anderson and secretly record potential questions Mike Anderson might ask her. How totally unfair. Perhaps Lykos should have joined Rachel Palmer and asserted the 5th.
That she is cut off after saying "no" is all you need to hear. The answer is "yes". The only answer is "yes". She could have said "yes, but...." to explain herself, but the wrong answer is "no".
So what about marijuana? Is that legal in a small amount in Harris County now too? Seems extreme to legalize the coke, heroine and meth, and take the hard line on marijuana, K2, and bath salts.Maybe I'm missing something...
Is it me or is there a certain wind of change in the air? Walking down the halls, its interesting to see how the political appointees (leadership team and division chiefs) are starting to be social and friendly. Especially to those they know are backing the other candidates. Have to love chameleons. Chameleons, please, oh please resign. All you are doing is prolonging your embassassment come May 30th. After that date, the halls will be like Holland in 1944. If only we could shave heads for teason against the institution.
So Anderson wants to fill up the jails with trace cases. Newsflash, we can't afford to do that anymore. So the leg needs to modify the law but in the meantime trace cases need to be let go for now.
No, anon 1:49, Anderson wants to milk the users for information about their dealers--their biggest value to law enforcement--and then get the users in treatment, not prison.Last year under Lycos' no trace case policy, the number of dealers arrested (possession with intent to distribute) dropped by 500 cases. It's because the police lost one of the best tools to go get the dealers--squealing users!
Listen to the video again! Mike Anderson asked Lykos: "Is a SMALL amount of cocaine, heroine, or methamphetamine . . . ? To which Lykos clearly answers "No!" Her tone of voice makes it clear that there is not more to come in her sentence.Sounds like Lykos is saying far larger amounts than trace amounts are still not illegal.
And once again there are those who want to make this a trace case issue. The issue is not in filing charges for a trace amount just because you can, the issue is using the law as written as a tool to control crime. In 24 yrs of law enforcement trace cases were a tool to arrest and process suspects in other cases. If you had a burglary suspect and needed prints or an updated photo one way was to enforce the trace case (crack pipe) to obtain the evidence or information you needed to file a charge of burglary or robbery, etc.... SO quit crying about trace cases and look at the big picture.
The Johnny Holmes and Mike Anderson cowboy mindset are stuck in the transitional century that bridged the wild west to modern times--their day has long since passed.Hanging cattle rustlers, arresting blacks for drinking out of the wrong water fountain, arresting homosexuals for being homosexual and jailing residue cases are no longer acceptable punishments in 2012.Harris County is now the most diverse county in America and the good old boy redneck bullshit needs to go.
When talking about weed, dope, etc., in a Post on the Web, it's probably not good to use such phrases as: "...is there a certain wind of change in the air?" Now, regarding the illogical yet proper comparison of how the system via THE WRITTEN LAW AS PASSED BY THE STATE LEGESLATURE - I would imagine this is exactly Mike's point: "Boundaries" exist in our legal / Govt. system. It is NOT proper for the Executive Branch (D.A.) to Carte Blanc unilaterally in one jurisdiction to decide to NOT - AT ALL - prosecute a certain crime - IF - there is truly probable cause the crime was committed. Not even withstanding jail overcrowding. Ever read how Giuliani cleaned up N.Y. City? Bottom line: Hey legislature: You want to crow you are conservative and all that rot on the campaign trial, then when the laws you pass result in the police and prosecutors doing their job, that in turn results in a Ruiz Type lawsuit - then YOU are the ones to CHANGE THAT LAW - NOT one individual prosecutor.What's next, Prostitution, weed? Hell NO. Make the Law makers belly up and change the law and face their constituents instead of others being put in a position to unilaterally anoint themselves law maker and Enforcer.
It seems to me the defense bar should be careful when posting things like this. I understand that some of you dislike Lykos, but if you jump on her for the trace policy, what do you expect the outcome to be? Perhaps a better question for both Lykos and Anderson is "should we prosecute individuals who possess small amounts of [drug x]?" - and have them intelligently explain their answer.
If I remember correctly, Johnny Holmes rule was: to enforce and prosecute the laws created by the Legislature. If you don’t like the laws, contact your State Rep and not the D.A.’s Office. If you listen to Anderson’s question again, he said “is against the law to possess small amounts of………that were written in Austin?” She definitely answered wrong. I don’t care if the tape was cut off or not, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.
The real issue here is that Lykos NEVER does anything unless its for political reasons rather than doing it for the right reason and in the right way.The undercurrent of dishonesty exudes from the pores of her skin. People who know how she is find her disgusting, disingenuous,and demagoguegic.
Anon 5:41PMIn response to your statement. The persons caught in possession of cocaine, meth, heroin, X ect are in violation of the Texas penal code , which every peace officer is sworn to uphold. As an elected DA of this or any county in Texas has a duty to uphold the law, AS WRITTEN. Patty has the alter ego thinking she is above the law makers in Austin. File on the offenders, flip them for information, use them to make controlled buys, gets search warrants on those dealers and work your case up. Along the way you will find dopers rob, rape and steal. I cannot count the number of fringe cases I have come across flipping a crack head or pill popper for info. Lykos is hanging her hat on reducing the jail population by not accepting trace cases, when in fact she has enabled dopeheads to continue to feast on the public without fear of incarceration. I would love to assemble the data of the trace case suspects history after they were Class C arrested instea.d of state jailed, and see how many violent felonies they committed. We at HPD see it everyday, just wish the elected DA would also, I'm sure the next one will.
The ultimate issue, notwithstanding the protestations of many herein to the contrary, is not whether trace amounts of cocaine should be prosecuted. Since at least 1960 Texas case law has proscribed that there is no requirement that one must possess a usable quantity of a controlled substance for conviction nor is there a requirement that the material even be visible to the naked eye. Possession cases with small or trace amounts as little as 1.7mg and 3.7mg have been upheld. In those instances, however, the State was required to show other circumstances which demonstrated knowing possession. Whether these cases are bad decisions or the results are not cost efficient, they are still the law to be applied in all 254 counties of Texas.Until such time as the Texas Legislature, as cogently noted by a prior blogger, has the body parts to change the law, as it has done previously with marijuana which at one time had harsh penalties under the 1925 Penal Code and the Uniform Narcotics Drug Act, it is not the prerogative of the District Attorney, nor her constitutional mandate, to unilaterally "enact" her personal penal code or controlled substances act. With those 254 counties one can but imagine the chaos if the prosecutor in each respective county choose to selectively become the de facto legislative body enforcing and enacting laws of their own choosing and whim. The lack of uniformity in the construction of the Texas criminal laws is chaotic enough with the 14 courts of appeals having acquired intermediate criminal jurisdiction in the early 1980's. That chaos need not be multiplied by the likes of Lykos. Quite simply the issue thus distills to the role of the prosecutor in our justice system - a role that obviously Lykos and others refuse to accept or understand.Calvin A. Hartmann
Calvin,As usual, you condense the facts into cogent and logical thought that reflects your experience and talents as one fine lawyer!
Day X and county....Pat is lingering in the shadows during this foto opt. Can you give her some advice to help her image so she doesn't fade away in the background? Thank you - your help is appreciated.
"Anonymous said...If I remember correctly, Johnny Holmes rule was: to enforce and prosecute the laws created by the Legislature. If you don’t like the laws......".--March 21, 2012 8:20 PMConsider the following:Supreme Court of the United States Argued March 26, 2003Decided June 26, 2003 Full case name John Geddes Lawrence and Tyron Garner v Texas Prior history Defendants convicted, Harris County Criminal Court (1999), rev'd, 2000 WL 729417 (Tex. App. 2000) (depublished), aff'd en banc, 41 S.W.3d 349 (Tex. App. 2001), review denied (Tex. A Texas law classifying consensual, adult homosexual intercourse as illegal sodomy violated the privacy and liberty of adults to engage in private intimate conduct under the 14th Amendment. Texas state courts reversed and charges dismissed. Chief JusticeWilliam Rehnquist Is that what the great Johnny Holmes meant? Are you concrete cowboys really that black and white or can you think outside the box? What if Judge Pat asked you or Mike Anderson if you support former disgraced DA Chuck Rosenthal's decision to prosecute the sodomy issue all the way to the US Supreme Court?Well?As I recall the Texas Penal Code used to criminalize oral sex between consenting heterosexual adults--I'm sure Mike Anderson and his crew would be all for prosecuting that criminal conduct as well.The Penal Code is a toolbag not simply a sledge hammer.
Interesting how about 5 Post came in - Rat-a-tat-tat - one after the other, with basically the same logical theme as summed up by Calvin.I'll add only one comment that we have all, no doubt, heard before (of which I can not find the source) but here it is: "If you want a bad law changed or removed for good, then enforce it 100%".
Anon 8:35. Are you so unfamiliar with how laws get changed that you don't see that Rosenthal had to fight that all the way to the Supreme Court because the Texas legislature had already made it clear they weren't going to change the law UNLESS the U.S. Supreme Court made them? Fighting that case was the ONLY way to change the law in Texas and Rosenthal's position made him (the office) the front man in the battle whether he liked it or not.
The reference to the sodomy case is a bit misleading with the reference to Chief Justice Rehnquist. The lead opinion in that case was by Kennedy (relying on European law) joined by Souter, Breyer, Ginsberg, Stevens, and O'Connor; Rehnquist dissented along with two others. That aside, Texas has had numerous arguably bad laws over the years besides "sex" offenses; many were remedied by the enactment of the 1973 Penal Code and the Controlled Substances Act. For example under the 1925 Penal Code theft of edible meat (pack of lunch meat) was a felony, third offender shoplifting was a felony regardless of value, a habitual sentence could be imposed for "minor offenses", murder or robbery by firearms could result in the death penalty; possession of a joint of marijuana was a felony under the Uniform Narcotic and Drug Act. Changes in those laws were brought about by the Legislature or the state and federal courts, those bodies of the government entrusted with that responsibility. It appears, however, that the appropriate moniker for our esteemed District Attorney should be "Lykos, Law West of the San Jacinto." Calvin A. Hartmann
"Anonymous said...Anon 8:35. Are you so unfamiliar with how laws get changed that you don't see that Rosenthal had to fight that all the way to the Supreme Court because the Texas legislature had already made it clear they weren't going to change the law UNLESS the U.S. Supreme Court made them? Fighting that case was the ONLY way to change the law in Texas and Rosenthal's position made him (the office) the front man in the battle whether he liked it or not.March 22, 2012 10:00 AM'"Now that is some funny shit.Do you really think Chuck Rosenthal wanted to change the law?What role do you think 2nd Baptist had in Chuck Rosenthal's decison?Since all Texas gays don't reside in Harris County were all the DAs in all other Texas counties remiss by not acting as Chuck Rosenthal did?Do you think Johnny Holmes would have handled the situation in the same fashion as Chuck Rosenthal did? Did you ever read the transcript of Chuck's performance in front of the High Court? Chuck made Harris County look like the laughing stock of American justice on an international scale.Calvin is correcet that Rehnquist was dissenting in spite of Chuck's appearance. However, Chuck was a fool not only in his presentation but more importantly in his poor judgment and that is the bottom line that Mike Anderson needs to appreciate next time he goes off on one of his tirades about prosecuting trace drug cases in 2012.Judge Pat is a POS horrible human being but if Mike Anderson expects to beat her he needs to think more clearly and appreciate the forrest not just a tree.
Wow. Just wow.I've had some stupid bosses in the past, but this one. Wow.The thing is, this was a defendable position, and I actually agree with the outcome. The answer is supposed to be something about resources and efficiency for taxpayers or something or maybe how you don't prosecute everything to the hilt just because you can. Not that. Dear god, not that.
anon 1:48you'll need to take note that it was the defense appealing the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, not the state. That ship was sailing as soon as those seeking to change the law got just the right fact pattern and circumstances. It happened in Harris County. Holmes would have handled it differently. He would have pled the case and handed the appeal over to the Texas Attorney General folks as soon as possible. But that's where Rosenthal's ego (and maybe his religious affiliations) got in the way and he ended up making himself look like an ass before the US Supreme Court. That law was going to change no matter who'd represented Texas before the SC, that is was mishandled by someone so far out of their league just made it easier.
To Calvin A. Hartmann,I always enjoy reading your posts. They are very informative and insightful. Plus, you never talk down to those of us who don't have all your legal knowledge. Thanks for taking the time to educate the rest of us.Republican Activist
Dearest Republican Activist:Wow, your comments are just underwhelming. Please, we are not all 3rd graders.Second, political consultants are many things, playing Kumbaya with those who hold opposing views sure as hell ain't one of those things.Third, your manipulative postings don't even fool the 3rd graders.Forth, if a candidate you support comes off as angry, vindictive, bitter and mean spirited it renders your last post more than just a tad bit hypocritical.Fifth, your insipidness has almost convinced me to vote for Judge Pat--hope I don't speak for too many other registered Republican voters XOXOXO,Republican Realist
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