An insider's view of what is really happening in the Harris County Criminal Courts
TL; DR(Enough with the Lykos posts, please.)Rage
It's sometime in October, 2012 and the Temple hearing is winding down.Judge Mendoza has a few closing questions for Mr. Dick DeGuerin.Judge Mendoza: Mr. DeGuerin, it has been pointed out by linguistic expert testimony that when derogatory canine references are used to describe human beings, women are referred to as "bitches" while men are referred to as "dogs". Notwithstanding, you are alleging that the youth of the Katy community refer to women as "dogs", is that correct, sir?Mr. DeGuerin: Yes your honorJudge Mendoza: How is it that you arrived at this conclusion, Mr. DeGuerin?Mr. DeGuerin: It's a secret code, sirJudge Mendoza: You're full of secrets today Mr. DeGuerin. Kind of like your star witness' heretofore sealed testimony.Mr. DeGuerin: ObjectionJudge Mendoza: Stand up when you object in my courtMr. DeGuerin: I am standingJudge Mendoza: Your objection is over ruled. Now let's get on with this charade of yours, shall we Mr. DeGuerin?Mr. DeGuerin: Fine.......your honor.Judge Mendoza: Mr. DeGuerin you would have this court to believe that a couple of 16 year old neighborhood boys broke into the Temple home carrying a shotgun with the intent on burglarizing said habitation, correct?Mr. DeGuerin: That is correct your honor.Judge Mendoza: What was the shotgun for?Mr. DeGuerin: The kids were afraid there might be a "dog" in the house. You know a dangerous woman. Possibly even a pregnant one. Those "dog" women are real protective of their unborn pups.Judge Mendoza: I see. Well there was a real dog at the Temple house the day Belinda Temple was executed. The kind that bark and bite. In fact that dog was so mean it kept law enforcement officers who made the murder scene at bay until it was restrained. Mr. DeGuerin: I heard that was a bad ass dog. I mean canine. I mean Hannah chow hound.Judge Mendoza: It was a simply a real dog, Mr. DeGuerin. Now according to your secret deposition of your secret witness who talked to a couple of kids many years ago about a secret burglary turned "dog" killing and just now at the 11th hour has decided to contact you instead of the police, it is self evident in the record that in the course of the alleged burglary a "dog" bit at and showed aggressive behavior towards the kid buglers, is that correct?Mr. DeGuerin: That is correct sir and that is why they shot the dog, code name for woman, and threw her in the closet.Judge Mendoza: Mr. DeGuerin, your secret witness stated that they heard a woman's voice while the dog was barking and that is why they shot the dog threw it in the closet and left. Was this dog a ventriloquist as well? Mr. DeGuerin: Um....Um....Ah...I'm.....well if you say so it must have been I mean she must have been because my client is innocent Judge Mendoza: Well Mr. DeGuerin how do you explain the forensic evidence that proves Belinda Temple was executed in the upstairs closet and not shot on the stairs and drug upstairs to be thrown in the closet?Mr. DeGuerin: Oh my I didn't think about that little detail.....I know, the forensics team are all liars like Kelly Siegler and are just twisting the truth and hiding facts to punish my innocent client.Judge Mendoza: Mr. DeGuerin you have made a mockery of my court and the judicial process. In the process you have defamed one of the best prosecutors in America, you have subjected 2 completely innocent young men to charges of Capital Murder that will follow them all the days of their life and you are a disgrace to the Bar. Have you no shame, no sense of decency? Your motion is denied and I will personally file a grievance for this egregious behavior with the Texas State Bar. My recommendation is that your law licence be suspended pending disbarrment proceedings. May God have mercy on your soul.JUSTICE
The wisdom of C.S. Lewis in Abolition of Man seems particularly apposite to the DeGuerin-Lykos-Leitner trilogy:"It is the magician bargain; give up our soul and get power in return.But once our souls, that is, ourselves have been given up, the power thus conferred will not belong to us. We shall in fact be slaves and puppets of that to which we have given our souls."Calvin A. Hartmann
You presume there is only one form of evil in this scenario, Mr. Hartmann. C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, refused to opine on vices and temptations about which he knew nothing. On the subject of prosecutorial misconduct or the flaws in the justice system, I suggest you do the same. Rage
Hey Brotha' Murray,I'll bet Little Dickie is madder than a eunuch in a whorehouse!The boy's been busted bigger than Dallas and his DA bitches are scramblin' for damage control......who let da dogs out, oooh, ooooh.As Dandy Don used to say, "turn out the lights, this MF'ing party's over...."
It has not been my general practice to comment/respond to anonymous entries. Nothing usually can be gainsaid by joining in the proverbial "pissing contest" with an unknown person. I do wholeheartedly agree, however, with the contribution (sic) of anonymous 2:44 p.m.: "On the subject of prosecutorial misconduct or the flaws in the justice system" those without knowledge should not opine. So therefore when is anonymous 2:44 p.m., based upon its alleged area of expertise (civil law) going to shut up and leave the comments on this blog to those, the prosecutors and defense attorneys, who have actually practiced in the system? The vitriol which this anonymous person generally spews - oh, forget it - let the person have its fun. By the way as to flaws in the justice system, specifically the criminal justice system in which I had a couple years of experience, I would however offer a couple of suggestions:1) the Court of Appeals lose their intermediate appellate criminal jurisdiction and we go back to only one criminal appellate court in Austin - that would provide more uniformity in construction of criminal law and would force the Court of Criminal Appeals to actually look at the appeals like they did prior to 1981;2) the trial court would become the intermediate appellate court on MNT as it once was so that appeals might be "negotiated" for the benefit of the defendant and the state and if there was merit in the appeal relief could be granted earlier at the trial court;3) a public defender system be enlarged so that defendants presumably would be provided with attorneys that did not have a vested interest in keeping the judges happy by moving their dockets and presumably there would be a general better quality of representation ;4)in order to receive court appointments at the felony level attorneys be required to have a minimum of 15 hours of criminal CLE per year;5) judges be elected not by party affiliation - a modified Missouri plan;6) appearance bonds should be set at reasonable levels - the bonds as stated by statute should be to insure an appearance and not to operate as an instrument of oppression.7) Attorneys, whether defense (ineffective assistance of counsel)or prosecutor (prosecutorial misconduct) should be reported to the State Bar and sanctions should be imposed where appropriate.These are a few thoughts, but since forty two years in the criminal justice system from both sides is not sufficient forget them.Calvin A. Hartmann
The real estate czar from Sunnyside, Chip Lewis and Judge Mendoza. The coach, MikeDig, Chip Lewis and former juvenile and Judge Mendoza. I see reality TV at least until the first week of January.moke
FINALLY! THE C O D E HAS BEEN BROKEN: G U DD A V I D T E M P L E I L R U I FC T I R E EK Y C D NI K E SE R E
Lets see, Calvin v Rage, intelligence, experience, knowledge, wisdom v , well...........rage.I will go with Calvin every time.
Murray: There was an additional suggestion that I was hesitant to set out (probably because it would be the most controversial)- the "buddy" system that currently exists in the form of contract attorneys and "regulars" in the district courts should be eliminated. Such a system is in effect arguably "incestuous" because of the natural desire of those so intimately involved to please the judge,in many cases possibly to the detriment of the defendant. A "wheel" system wherein qualified attorneys are selected in order and thus could appear representing an individual in any of the district courts as opposed to only one or a few as currently occurs would be better - this would eliminate that desire to please and probably insure a better advocate. This also would be a financial benefit to more attorneys seeking court appointments because it would equitably expand the list. Similarly, prosecutors should be rotated more frequently through the various courts to eliminate their segment of the "buddy" system. Years ago the prosecutor "buddy" system was particurly fragrant in one of the district courts - it was reputed that the chief merely had to start to stand up and the judge would indicate "sustained." (That jurist later would have "personal" problems leading to its judicial demise).Calvin A. Hartmann
Hey Justice,What you fail to appreciate is that the fundamental difference between criminal defense attorneys and prosecutors is justice. It does not bind us it differentiates us.A prosecutor must seek justice at all costs whereas a defense attorney must do what ever he can to win at all costs.So when Dick DeGuerin gets his butt kicked by the same prosecutor over and over again and that prosecutor is a girl well it really makes him look bad. What you don't understand is justice has absolutely nothing to do with it. The boys ego has been hit and hit hard because Kelly not only got justice she "won". In DeGuerin's world he is so damn good that if someone soundly crushes him over and over they must have cheated--what else can DeGuerin say.
Well, my response to Mr. Hartmann may not have been saved.Suffice it to say that in our current system, people with decades of "experience" are the problem, not the solution. Most of his suggestions are directed at defense attorneys (as if they are the reason evidence gets withheld or junk science is used in the courtroom) and the structure of the system as a whole. None address the issues found in the Temple case--who had a high-price lawyer. I would be leery of someone with so much experience who still offers no tenable solutions to the problems at issue here. Such a person is far more dangerous to the system than someone with an outside perspective.Again, Mr. Hartmann should take the advice of his seemingly favorite author, and his least-favorite anonymous internet poster, and just stay out of it. He would be more productive yelling at teenagers to stay off his lawn.Rage
Rage,Mr. Hartman has already forgotten more law than you will ever know. His experience also exceeds your abilities by a considerable measure. Your, Sir, are ignorant and apparently proud of it.Take two more of your bi-polar meds and check back in the morning.
48 Hours Mystery TV series:Interesting:http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4656356nWhat's the deal with the kid being sent home sick on the same day Temple was going to kill his wife?Was the dog in the garage or in the yard when the police first arrived?Was cross contamination found on any other clothing than just the jacket in the room?What were the results of the gunpowder residue test on his hands?What is the crucial evidence K.S. is alleged to have hidden?Had any calls been made on the phone? Stored on the phone redail memory? Guess it could have been placed there after the fact.Based solely on this documentary (obviously you get to hear about polygraph results, but you also hear about gunshot residue the jury did not hear about. Alibi does seem hinky...Thus - legally - from a sufficiency standpoint I could see a finding in favor of the defendant. The Lacy Peterson case appears to have been an undercurrent during this period of time as well. I mean once you have a high profile case of a man shooting his pregnant wife it tends to condition - I guess- others to not be so shocked.Seems the jury went on gut and not head. I can see how no one would have been surprised if the jury had found Temple Not Guilty based on what evidence WAS presented.I could also see another jury saying reasonable doubt. Texans didn't like the Peterson case.Bet the key was cross of the defendant. Bet if he had NOT testified = R/D. But I saw no part of this trial.Just thoughts....Mendoza will probably punt and the CCA affirm.My guess.
Ok, I just read some of the comments ont eh 48 hours piece. Apparently the book has much, much more compelling evidence of Temple's guilt. Not having read the book I differ to the readers comments at this site. Now I'm leaning strongly more towards a guilty: http://www.cbsnews.com/8601-500251_162-4656356-0.html?assetTypeId=58&blogId=&tag=contentBody;commentWrapper
When in fact it is shown that Kelly Siegler did not withhold any exculpatory evidence in violation of Brady:Does it really matter that Dick DeGuerin's ego caused his poor judgment in not resting after the prosecution presented their case? 20/20 hindsight ain't grounds for a Mulligan......Chris Darden couldn't take the glove back and DeGuerin can't pretend Temple didn't testify.If it's any consolation for DeGuerin & Co., everybody knows Temple murdered his wife in cold blood; so at least Dick helped put the right guy in prison and lost to a really, really good prosecutor......AGAIN!Deja Vu my brother
Early Bird @ 4:27 AM you ought to get a copy of the trial transcript since every one of your relevant questions was answered at trial.However, I don't know how you missed not knowing that on the afternoon of Belinda Temple's murder, the dog was in the yard and that the only way to access the door with the broken glass (the alleged burglar's forcible entry site )was through the yard. This is not a minor detail.Just Sayin'
PDR was granted by the Court of Criminal Appeals on 1/11/12 in the Temple matter. To date there has been no decision. Jurisdiction over the case should thus still be in the Court of Criminal Appeals until it renders a decision. By what authority is Mendoza assuming that he has jurisdiction over the matter? Since he already has effectively assumed jurisdiction over the case I assume that the State would have filed a writ of mandamus (alternately a writ of prohibition). Probably Appellate has been instructed, however, to back off though by either the D.A. or the putative D.A.Calvin A. Hartmann
Rage, who is the most knowledgable person I don't know, was present during the full investigation of the Temple case. He was probably one of the first persons on scene, present during interviews of witnesses, all grand jury appearances, trial, jury deliberations and arguments before appeals courts. He certainly seems to claim exceptional knowledge of the case. Or he is just a blowhard who is living his junior high dream of being one of the characters in the "I was there when ....." books.
anon 1:12 are you saying that Rage is Jim Leitner?Calvin, politics has no place for justice and you can't fix stupid. Things will turn around in January so take a big breath and chill my brother.
Rage is so knowledgable, he does not use Westlaw, Westlaw uses him.
Rage is so knowledgable, the Texas Lottery calls him to find out the winning numbers.
The latest issue raised by the Chronicle has to be a joke. 4700 vials of blood from disposed misdemeanor DWIs being stored at HPD and Lykos has to get permission from the AG to discard it. Come on. Use a little common sense here. Keep pending those where the cases are pending and those where are appeals and the appellate time limit hasn't run out.
Sorry Jigmeister but the office management ran out of common sense several years ago :(
How did Dick get the grand jury testimony in the Temple case? If Jim turned it over to him without a court order, he committed a crime...
Anon 4:51,WTF, Jim and Dick break the law?I thought only real prosecutors lied and cheated and broke the law.These 2 little self righteous Napoleonic pricks have over stayed their welcome at the court house---it's time for a move to the Marfa pasture.
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