Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What to Do With Susan Wright

Back in the Spring of 2004, I got the opportunity to sit second chair with Kelly Siegler on the State of Texas vs. Susan Wright -- a highly publicized murder case at the time which was made even more highly publicized during trial.

The short version of the case was that a young mother tied her husband, Jeff Wright, to their bed and stabbed him over 190 times before burying him in a flower bed right outside their bedroom door. She then reported him to the police as having beaten her and then left their home on foot. For a more detailed version of the case, here is an article I wrote for TDCAA several years ago.

The case got National attention when Kelly had us reconstruct the bed in the middle of Judge Jim Wallace's courtroom and did a re-enactment of the stabbing for the jury. (NOTE: No, I was not the dude in the bed. That was Paul Doyle.)

Ultimately, Susan Wright was convicted of the murder of her husband and was sentenced to 25 years in TDCJ. The jury had rejected a claim of "Sudden Passion" (which would have capped sentencing at 20 years) and had also rejected the State's request for 45 years.

Almost immediately, the verdict was attacked both in the Press and in the Appellate Courts by the shy and demure Brian Wice. He took on Susan Wright's case and for the past five years has fought like a mad man to get her a new trial. Brian is a good friend of mine, and although we were on opposite sides of this particular issue, I truly respect the work he did on this case.

Last year, he and Carmen Roe took the case to a hearing in front of Judge Wallace making the claim that Wright's defense counsel had been ineffective for failing to put forth an effective Battered Woman Defense. Specifically, Brian and Carmen were arguing that defense counsel had erred in not putting on witness Mistie McMichael (Jeff Wright's ex-girlfriend who alleged abuse by him) and an expert on Battered Woman's Syndrome.

Although Judge Wallace did not have the power to overturn the case, he did make findings agreeing with Brian's assertions that there was ineffective assistance, and the case was then taken to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. In a ruling that I will admit absolutely stunned me, the Court ruled 9-0 that Susan Wright deserved a new punishment hearing.

With that ruling, the ball is now thrown into the District Attorney's court to see what they want to do with Wright's case on punishment. Both Kelly Siegler and I are both gone from the D.A.'s Office now, obviously, so new prosecutors will be making the decisions.

The case goes back to the 263rd District Court with Judge Wallace. Mia Magness is the Chief in that court now and she is one of the best trial prosecutors that the D.A.'s Office still has left. You might remember her from that little Clara Harris trial awhile back.

But the chances of the Wright case actually going back to trial aren't in Mia's hands at the moment. The decision of whether or not to plea bargain the case away is in the hands of Pat Lykos and Jim Leitner.

What they will decide to do with the Wright case will be a pretty big statement on their feelings for victim's advocacy and how much they will bow down to the defense bar.

Obviously, Wice and Wright would love nothing more than to get a plea offer of time served. The Office could accomplish this by letting her to plead to 5 years TDCJ. In lieu of that, the Office could also plead her to 10 years TDCJ making Wright automatically eligible for parole.

I hope they don't. And here's why:

-Susan Wright was convicted of tying her husband to a bed and stabbing him over 193 times.

-the number 193 is an under-estimated count, because as Dr. Dwayne Wolfe testified, there were so many wounds that many of them ran in together and couldn't be counted individually.

-Wright testified that she went for her husband's eyes first when the stabbing began.

-Wright also testified that in the middle of the stabbing, she was interrupted by the couple's young son, who she had to put back to bed. (Can you imagine what she looked like walking down the hall with him?)

-Wright went to great efforts to disassemble her bedroom and clean it with paint and bleach.

-while Jeff Wright's body was being desecrated by the family dog in the back yard, Susan had the audacity to go file a police report that he had assaulted her.

I expect supporters of Susan Wright to claim she was a battered woman, but her claims weren't even close to credible. During trial, she testified to only three specific incidents of abuse (while saying that Jeff beat her continuously, she could only remember these three).

The three incidents were as follows:

1. An incident where Susan had a small bruise under her eye. She told neighbors that her son had accidentally popped her in the face with an action figure. The neighbor saw the action figure and saw it was consistent with the size of the bruise.

2. An incident where Jeff (who was a very large and strong man, especially when compared to Susan's small frame) had repeatedly slammed her hand in a heavy door. She admitted under Kelly's cross-examination that her hand was not broken and she never sought medical treatment for it. Her description was rejected by the jury.

3. An assault the night of the murder which had led to bruising on her arms and legs. All the bruising on the arms and legs were consistent with somebody banging themselves up while moving a body and disassembling a bed.

And let's not forget that Jeff Wright's body was found with ties around both wrists and both ankles, with corresponding ties found tied to the bed frame. There was also candle wax dripped on his genitalia.

The crime scene was much more indicative of kinky sex than an assault, folks.

So, Pat and Jim, you've got a decision to make.

Susan Wright tortured her husband and the father of her children and killed him about as brutally as one can imagine. Jeff Wright was far from the perfect husband, but he didn't do the things Susan claimed. Her claims of domestic abuse are an affront to all the real victims of domestic violence out there.

Quite frankly, 25 years TDCJ was a gift from the jury.

If you guys are interested in doing the job you were elected to do, it's time to make a statement.

One of your best prosecutors could retry this case in a heartbeat and leave Susan Wright wishing for that 25 years.

Or you can just surrender and plead her out to back time.

If I were you, I'd take this case back to trial.


BLACK INK said...

This is a no brainer.

The fact that Mia Magness is the chief and the only prosecutor left capable of handling the retrial is too great an opportunity for Pat Lykos to pass up. If Mia Magness prevails, as she should, it makes Pat Lykos look good (which as we all know is job #1 at HCDAO today). If Mia Magness loses she can be fired and condemned as a corrupt Kelly Siegler clone. If Mia Magness gets more than 25 yrs Pat Lykos can really run with the verdict.

New evidence revealed at the hearing for a new trial, included notes from the defense's shrink, Dr. Jerome Brown, that shed some light as to why the defense didn't put him on as their medical expert in support of the "Battered Woman" defense..... Susan Wright falling asleep after deadly sex on that terrible night might be a little difficult to explain away....even the likes of Res Judicata as ADA could run with that.

Notwithstanding, the correct choice will be sacrificed for the "safe" bet and a 20 year plea will be offered up.
When spectators rather than trial lawyers ultimately decide on strategy; justice often takes a backseat.

Anonymous said...

Well spoken, Black Ink. However, I doubt Murray can be considered a "spectator" in the matter...

Anonymous said...

In the alternative Patsy can retry Wright on punishment.
Who can get a visual of Patsy riding Wee Man Leitner in open court? OMG that's scarier than a pissed off knife wielding titty dancer any day.

Anonymous said...

Holy Hell, call out the DOGS!! If Patsy makes a "media effort" to try this one with little Jimmy, it will be the equivolent of a three ring cricus, with Ms. Palmer taking tickets at the door!!

Anonymous said...

Hey what a great RP PR opportunity. Maybe Judge Pat can reassign the case to Rachel Palmer and Mia can sit 2nd chair and walk Rachel through it.

Just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

even the likes of Res Judicata as ADA could run with that.

I'm more insulted at the insinuation that I'd be an ADA than anything else...

Cases like this are tough. I don't believe the battered woman defense in this case either, but like Andrea Yeates, a person in their right mind does not stab someone 193 time.

(And they damn sure don't let some chick drip wax on their balls.)

Xi said...

Rage,Inkman's point was that even someone as criminally clueless as you would be able to shoot holes in the battered wife defense of Susie Wrong.
As for you being an ADA--2 years ago that would be a laugh, today you could actually stand out.

Anonymous said...

I doubt Murray Newman will have Pat Lykos' ear in any future strategy decisions on this matter or any other.
Any implication that Trial Attorney Par Exellence Murray Newman was a "spectator" is entirely unfounded.
The reference was obviously directed towards those that fit the bill and should be self evident.

Anonymous said...

What brutal sadistic killer is in their right mind? I guess Rage Judicata's argument would be that if you're going to kill someone do it in a horrific fashion so you can preserve the old insanity defense in the event you are ever caught and have the poor judgment to hire someone of his caliber.

Anonymous said...

Has Sweetseptember checked with Mark Bennett yet to see how the DA's office needs to handle this? I mean we sure as heck don't want to offend the defense bar.

Twight Zoned said...

Itty Bitty Susan Wright;
Tied her man up good and tight.

Little Dick DeGuerin;
Couldn't cause her sparin'.

In comes Brian Wise;
Mia crushes like a vise.

The jury vomits at the gore;
Slashin' Susan is no more.

Patsy and Jimmy share a smoke;
We all know they're just a joke.

Anonymous said...

Twilight that's some funny shit dude but if you still work here you are so fired.

Anonymous said...

Xi: You may want to re-read his post. He's saying even I could shred the defense expert. Why would I do that as a defense attorney?

Another significant hint was the part where he says "even Res Judicata as ADA could run with that."

I'm guessing you're a baby lawyer. Maybe you're one of the new ones that just passed the bar?

Anonymous said...

There are two lifetime guarantees:

1. Pat Lykos will die without having tried a case;

2. Brian Wice will die without trying a case (and we aren't talking about being Detodo's lap dog).

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Brian Wice fights in a different arena from the trial lawyers, but he still fights. He may not be comfortable in front of a jury, but I know that I wouldn't be comfortable in front of a group of appellate judges.

Hey, he just undid a verdict on a case I worked on, and even I respect the job he does.

There's no comparing him to Lykos.

Anonymous said...

Channel Two will be airing a piece tonight on another mess up at the DA's office and how little they care about victims. Given this new crime friendly approach at the DA's office, I think they will plead out Susan Wright for much less than it is worth.

Anonymous said...

Murray - do you really believe she was never beaten or raped by her steroid freak husband? Can you imagine a scenario where there might be domestic violence and no witnesses?
Judge Helm called bs on a domestic violence case and the DAs office wants to recuse him. Now they want to send a victim of abuse to prison. Seems hypocritical.

Xi said...

"Xi: You may want to re-read his post. He's saying even I could shred the defense expert. Why would I do that as a defense attorney?"

To wit: "Susan Wright falling asleep after deadly sex on that terrible night might be a little difficult to explain away....even the likes of Res Judicata as ADA could run with that."

Rage don't be a dumb ass all your life.
Your hatred for prosecutors and worship envy of defense attorneys has blinded your one dimensional pea brain once again. Inkman was simply stating that the battered bitch defense was so lame in this instance that even if you were the prosecuting ADA no jury would buy it.

Another significant hint was the part where he says "even Res Judicata as ADA could run with that."
Answer: Res ipsa loquitur (supra).

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the law prevent her from getting more than 25 years? I thought you're capped during a retrial by the previous sentence. Or does that only apply to a judges' sentencing?

Also, while I didn't try the case like you Murray, I did watch a lot of it. I recall the victim's best friends saying that he either saw or heard from the victim about abuse against Susan. I also recall more than the neighbor seeing her with a black eye.

While I think she was full of crap on a lot of things, and that she and her husband had a very unhealthy relationship, I also recall much more evidence of abuse -- some of which didn't come into evidence.

My two cents: Mia should do the retrial. She'd rock!

Anonymous said...

You may think Brian Wice did a good job but maybe he didn't do what was in the best interest of his client for his own personal fame. If the State does its job, Susan Wright is going to get blasted for life. She deserves a life sentence for what she did. There is a building accross the street called the family law center that could have solved all her problems. There is also a division at the DA's office that will prosecute any man as long as the wife says he did something wrong.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:20
D-I-V-O-R-C-E court is a more appropriate venue than a makeshift slaughterhouse. Whatchathink Mr.PC?

Xi and Anon 11:12
No question that even a baby prosecutor could put Susan Wright away for a long time given the new psych testimony. Brian Wice is out for Brian Wice. When the new trial backfires he'll no doubt whine for an ineffective jury card next go round.

Judge Pat
Only those that are doing a terrible job keep asking others "So,how am I doing?"
You're NOT so shut the f*ck up pour yourself a Jack & Coke and have another Marlboro.

Twilight Zoned said...


Mia doesn't live in Harris County so her media coverage won't be a threat to the troll....1 point for re-trial

Kelly Siegler might get favorable media attention with a re-trial....1 point for plea deal

Patsy could sit 2nd chair to Mia but present herself to the media as 1st chair....1 point for re-trial

Susan Wright could do the bed scene reenactment herself with Little Jimmy Leitner strapped to the bed as he is hacked to death. That would be visually appealing on many levels.......1 point re-trial

If Susan is plead out to 10 yrs she could be released for time served with the imposed condition that she serve as HCDA grief dog handler for the balance of Patsy's term....1 point plea deal

We're going to trial boys and girls.

Anonymous said...

Ahcl likes self promoters. He defended Tyler Flood from the Nolan attacks and was silent on the Houston Press article. Now he is going to bat for the ultimate press hound Wice.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:40
Apparently Tyler Flood routinely kicks your prosecutorial butt and Brian reverses the few cases you don't lose. Whatever complaints you have against these guys they can't come close to the flagrant injustices of your new DA and boss' administration. Stop your incessant whining it's irritating.

Anonymous said...

Can't we all just get along? After all, we should be greatful that we have a "transparent" D.A.'s office, thankful we have rid ourselves of the "Good Ol' Boy Network" of Rosenthal and looking forward to 2012!! It will come full circle. It always does. Thanks for this blog, Murray! We look forward to the day when you can re-join us.. hehehehe

Anonymous said...

Just a question:

What about Kelly Seigler almost being charged with prosecutoral misconduct? She was lucky on this one and most at the CJC realize this.

The bed scene was absurd. How does anyone know what acutally happened unless they were there?

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Hey Anon 5:28 p.m.,
Glad you dropped by. We haven't heard from the David Temple Fan Club faction in awhile.
If by Kelly "almost being charged with prosecutorial misconduct" you mean a couple of disgruntled DeGuerin fans bitching about her, I guess you are somewhat accurate. Other than that, Kelly never got charged with anything.
As far as the bed scene and how anyone could know anything about what had happened, perhaps you should have been at the trial and you could have learned. Forensic evidence and pathological analysis are amazing things!

Anonymous said...

Kelly Siegler should be fired! She tried a case and won. Report her to the bar.

Anonymous said...


Are you saying that Neal Davis and Todd Ward were ineffective?

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 8:04 p.m.,
Where'd you get that from?

I think Neal and Todd did the best they could with what they had. Lawyers don't make the facts and they got dealt a bad hand. I think they both did a good job. I thought Susan Wright getting only 25 years could be considered a victory for them both.

BLACK INK said...

Anon 5:28

Just an answer:

No one respects a sore loser. Kelly Siegler has consistently kicked Dick DeGuerin's ass in the courtroom so he tried to make excuses for these failures through the Texas State Bar and lost there as well.
As for your allegation that Kelly Siegler was just lucky: Luck is when preparation meets opportunity....so go find some timid soul at the CJC who thinks Kelly Siegler is just plain "lucky".
Don't be a punk all your life.

BTW, where is your outrage over the plethora of misconduct occurring on the 6th floor today?
Didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

As an outsider, I obviously didn't get to see any of the trial (other than what was in the news) or the hearing on whether she should get a new trial. Having said that, I did follow her on television and recently came across this blog...

My two cents, for whatever it is worth:

1. Susan was lucky to get 25 years for butchering her husband and the father of her children, then trying to cover it up, even if the dead guy was not exactly Mr. Clean. In short, she dodged a bullet. And that was against a kick-ass prosecutor, regardless of what the other side thinks of her. I just don’t see how her lawyers messed up. Maybe if she got life there could be some academic grumbling, but not 25 years!

2. Now that she has a new sentencing, she faces up to life again, as I understand it. Why would she want to roll the dice? I certainly wouldn't, given the facts. I just don’t see how psychological gobbledygook from her “experts,” or that stripper’s testimony, is going to help her.

From what I have seen and read, juries are skeptical of psych testimony and they ain’t gonna find a stripper very credible, period.

3. Finally, COLOR ME CONFUSED! Apparently, her lawyers thinks the evidence is SOOOO compelling that she deserved a new sentencing. If that is the case, then WHY IS HE PUSHING FOR A PLEA DEAL IN THE MEDIA? WHY DOESN’T SUSAN STEP UP TO THE PLATE FOR A NEW SENTENCING? I would think if she or her lawyer were so confident, then all bets would be off AND THEY WOULD BE EAGER FOR A NEW SENTENCING HEARING! Perhaps it is because, like me, he suspects a jury will hammer her and sentence her to more than 25 years. In which case, this whole exercise has been a waste of taxpayer time and money.

This whole deal reminds me of that saying: Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.

Anonymous said...

For an "outsider" you have a better grasp of the case and the system than Lykos/Leitner ever will.

Anonymous said...

Ted Oberg from KTRK struck again. David Pearson, who is THE most respect accident investigator in this area, had a few harsh words for the DA.

Why is Oberg the only reporter who is willing to expose this administration for what it is?

Anonymous said...


Are you freaking kidding? Hang her from the nearest tree and have a pinata party using machetes.
What's with all the hoopla?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone gotten Ted Oberg up to speed on Donna Goode?

Poetic Justice said...

When Susan Wright trades 25 for life it'll be Brian Wice rather than DeGeurin's firm held for ineffective counsel.
Wice's only potential saving Grace is that Kelly won't be handling the re-trial. But Mia's the next best thing so my bet is the blond butcher gets life anyway.
Irony at it's finest. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Word from the inside is that there will be no plea bargain! It seems as though Mr. Wice blinked. Poetic Justice at its best. Kudos to the 6th floor. I finally agree with one of their moves.

This is going to be fun to watch. I know quite a few defense lawyers that are going to enjoy this event.

Rick DeToto said...

Enough said.

Anonymous said...

I am astounded at this blog and the comments. After having been in the courthouse for almost 3 decades I have seen the difference between the true defense lawyers and those who became defense lawyers because they had no choice. Some believe in what they do and see the district attorney's office as their adversaries while some are defense lawyers only because they got fired from the da's office or they left so that they could try to make more money. It seems like most of the comments come from those in the latter group.
It is obvious that there are many who would try to use this case to try to shame Pat Lykos into doing something that is unfair or wrong as to this defendant, in order to pit her against Kelly Siegler. The truth is that Kelley while Kelley may have been effective in bad cases, she was also void of ethics and had little regard for the constitutional rights of other people. Those defense lawyers that support those ideals are the bottom tier of defense lawyers who are a disgrace to the profession. It is time for them to decide who they are and what they stand for and if being a defense lawyer is uncomfortable for them, then maybe it is time to go do divorces or go prosecute in some remote county where we will never have to hear from them again.
The truth is that while you may not like Lykos, she does get it right most of the time. She has made major changes that are mostly good and she has restored some amount of dignity that Rosenthal took away from the dynasty that Johnny Holmes built. He was a disgrace to the county and the profession and whether you like Lykos or not, she has repaired much of the damage that he did.
If Lykos agrees to a fair disposition in this case, it will demonstrate that she is not committed to the type of pandering and bullying that the Rosenthal administration stood for. As the great legal scholar, Rick Detoto, said, "enough said".

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 10:29 p.m.,
And Rick signed his name to what he wrote.
You attack Kelly's ethics and at the same time hold yourself out as the gold standard of defense attorneys?
I agree with your assessment about there being two different types of defense attorneys, however, but I don't think you attach the right descriptions of their differences. Some defense attorneys believe in the criminal justice system and themselves and know that they can do a good job whether their client is factually guilty or not.
Some just believe that every client is innocent in all occasions and prosecutors do nothing but embody evil oppression.
The only reason you claim that Lykos is "getting it right most of the time" is because she's acting like a defense attorney. That may serve as a Utopian situation for you, but it damn sure ain't what the voters elected her to do.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:29 (Brian or friend of Brian),

Some people may think that you spent your life sucking up and then backstabbing the person you sucked up to. In this instance, Pat isn't going to buy into that post. It is too late for that big boy. You made your bed, now lie in it. This isn't Benton where you took the photos but didn't take a witness in the trial. Susan is your girl and you made her bed. I sure hope you didn't make any promises because fate is around the corner.

I agree, Pat is doing the right thing by re-prosecuting your murdering client. She didn't do the right thing with the traffic cases or Onken. But this case, you read it wrong sweetie.

Your description of DA's and pure defense lawyers is funny. You are a pure defense lawyer who is about to get his pure ass handed to him. Have fun and keep trying to spin. Oh, and it is Kelly, not Kelley, that fooled noone.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:29 or whoever you are,

You seem to be spending quite a bit of time trying to justify Pat giving Susan a lesser sentence and trying to once again rehash the campaign. Mentioning DeToto indicates you know him. Detot actually tries cases ( see Ashley Benton).

Anonymous said...



DA did something that could be construed is positive so the Chronicle's Brian Dough Boy Rogers is ON THE SPOT.

I guess he forgot to follow up on her quote, "we already have a plan in place"with some legitimate questions. Something like, "Isn't that what you said about DIVERT, what about court 2 and 14?

Xi said...

Anon 10:29;
The ethics of a successful politician versus a successful prosecutor are as similar as night and day. Just because a successful politician more often than not must sell their soul and ethical compass to prevail; the same does not follow for a rock star prosecutor. Your projections may have won an election but they can't bullshit those that are actually informed.
It is a travesty that the dark of night beat the brightest ray of sunshine at the polls and justice in Harris County is paying dearly for it now, Missy.

In over 2 decades as a prosecutor with a couple of hundred jury trials under Kelly's belt what exactly are these ethical violations you reference?
As I recall, the "nuts and fruitcake" comment was not deemed unethical or racist by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. If guilt by mere association with a real nut and fruitcake named Chuck Rosenthal is what you hang your logic on, then what the fuck is Denise Onken still doing there?
Perhaps you reference the Dick DeGuerin flunkie who filed an unsubstantiated grievance (as evidenced by its subsequent immediate dismissal) against Kelly after she stomped him in court once again? Sheer coincidence? Bullshit!
Prosecutors who actually try the hard cases naturally step on a few toes...the good ones anyway, who are not afraid to stand up for what is right, regardless of personal sacrifice. That is something a politician who never sets foot in a courtroom as a trial lawyer will ever fully appreciate or understand. In the world of ethics it is NOT always about YOU it is about fighting for what is RIGHT regardless of the personal consequences.
True enough there are some ADAs who practice criminal defense who are prosecutors at heart; wrestling with the moral dilemma of their situation. These folks have expertise in criminal law and families to feed. The ethical consequences of working for Pat Lykos versus defending the criminal element weighs in favor of the later. The difference, however, is that these folks will insure that the criminal defendants they zealously represent are afforded due process but not at the expense of the bastardization of the criminal justice system. It is not a game for these guys.

Anonymous said...

Brian Wice won the award for defense attorney of the year for a reason. You prosecutors think he is scared of the outcome and are trying to prey on that fear. Wice is a gladiator and will get the same outcome he did against Mia in the Benton case- PROBATION! Wice has been there before and he will do it again.I suspect Susan knows this and I am sure she sleeps well at night knowing all she needs is her new day in court. Bring it on! We will see who laughs last!

Anonymous said...

I also remember much more testimony about abuse than is mentioned in this article. I thought she had a good shot at self defense until she took the stand. She dug a second grave that day.

Kelly Siegler was an awesome prosecutor but her attitude toward winning can be summed up in her lecture to those law students. She would do things she could get away with even if she knew they shouldn't come in front of a jury. The shame of it is that she didn't need to play those games to win.

BLACK INK said...

Anon 12:28,
Cutting edge trial advocacy requires pushing the envelope on both sides of the bar.
Competitive people like Kelly Siegler want and like to win. It drives them. However, I never knew Kelly's strong competitive drive to be so compelling that she knowingly sought to convict a defendant whose actual guilt she reasonably or should have questioned.
That is not to say that the end always justifies the means just that the law is not always black and white either and it is more often the gray area that decides the tougher and more ambiguous cases.
Trial and appellate judges would be superfluous in a world where trial lawyers did not push the envelope.

Anonymous said...

Had you seen/heard about this?

Anonymous said...

Sorry. I'll try again...
Have you seen/heard this?

Anonymous said...

Black ink, I agree that both sides need to be zealous but the prosecutor also has the duty to seek justice. You can't do that if you are admittedly introducing evidence you know should not come before a jury under the theory that the bell cannot be unrung. This is not a grey area.

Anonymous said...

Any reasonable lawyer looking at the facts in this case would have concluded that the original defense attorney did a hell of a job getting 25 years for murder. Frankly, a retrial probably benefits the state, as the jury will start from the position that Defendant was already found guilty of murder. That frees the State to focus on the gory details.

While the Defense certainly can put on their experts and blah blah blah about past abuse by the victim, the jury will still be faced with the fact that the Defendant tied the victim to a bed and tortured him to death with numerous knife wounds. That ain't gonna play well.

Bottom line: Wice provide ineffective assistance of counsel on appeal by getting a retrial on punishment, exposing the defendant to substantially more time on retrial.

BLACK INK said...

Anon 5:30,
1st of all only the defense is charged with the duty to be zealous.
Secondly, there is a huge difference in a prosecutor introducing evidence that is objectionable so that justice IS ultimately served as opposed to doing so to merely win, regardless of actual guilt. That was the point.

Dick DeGuerin is the only one who "believes" the defendants Kelly convicted that he defended are really innocent and if he were a man he wouldn't be so chickenshit about it.

Winning at all costs is a misnomer when the prosecutor seeks justice at all costs; not a conviction regardless of guilt, as you seem to imply.
It would be naive to state that any time a trial lawyer's evidence was objected to and sustained that such action constituted ethical misconduct. Even if reversible error is the result; that in and of itself does not constitute ethical misconduct either.

Kelly Siegler is an aggressive and effective attorney. She unquestionably plays hardball. But let's not forget that the criminal defendants she prosecuted played hardball on a very different level and need not be coddled outside their Constitutional safety net.

I'm sure you would prefer Mary Poppins to be the ADA prototype and under Lykos you'll get your wish. I, however, am not a fan of political correctness in the criminal justice system.

Anonymous said...

Susan Wright is a psychopath, could she really get custody of her children? Misty McMicheal's on the stand comes of as unstable, forget credible! What adult actually whines 'they're mean' to the judge about an attorney. The D.A. owes it to Jeff Wright's family to get justice the second time around. I am thinking "life" rather then 45 years! I agree 25 was a gift!

kkbb said...

WOW!!! I sat in TDCJ with this woman and didn't know who she was until today when I happened to be watching tv and caught a rerunof 48 Hours Mystery. In TDCJ Hobby Unit, she was not only physically threatening to myself and others, but very manipulative, an award-winning actress, can turn on the tears in a heartbeat, and seems totally capable of doing all of which she was accused of. I too have been in abusive relationships before and she totally does not fit the profile, Seems completely premeditated to me to tie someone up and do all that. I just feel so sorry for those two kids who have had to go through alot, and hope they never have to endure their mother. Also hope that Jeffrey's family gets some justice.

Anonymous said...

Kkbb......I was also in hobby with her I worked in laundry with her n her hiv positive wife Sam ...Susan laughs at Jeff like she got away with something I remember when they were gonna air that 48 hours special about her on tv she tried to get them to not show it to us in the prison....she is a bully and a liar.

Anonymous said...

As I suspected just a bunch of loud-mouth gutless whiners who wont post a discerning argument the goes against the status quo. Remember you practice law in Texas. That is nothing to be proud of. A state which wrongly executes more innocents then every other state. Perhaps save Florida. Had Susan been given A fair (non-unprofessional prosecution grand-standing, trial here in California, she wouldn't have seen a day behind bars. An ignorant populous ensures an ignorant jury. Texas is a national laughing stalk when it comes to administering true, fact based justice. If any of you had an ounce of self respect you would slink off and sell used cars for a living.
As for miss Hobby laundry gal. Keep your lies and venom
under control and then you might stand a better chance staying out for a while. I know for a fact that you are spewing lies based hate and jealousy. You might want to re-think your ways. If not your cell will be waiting for your next long-term visit,

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Ha. Yeah, we could all learn some awesome justice traits from California. Way to keep up with the posts in a timely manner, dude. This one is only five years old.

Anonymous said...

You're right, like you, this Post has long since become irrelevant However, thanks to technology your simplistic, ignorant and now PROVEN inability to judge a case based on facts will live forever. Nicely done. Do you still practice (emphasis on "practice") law? Or are you cleaning carpets for a living... Yet?

A Harris County Lawyer said...

That's a pretty funny statement coming from a person who is still reading my blog post at 12:30 on a Monday morning --FIVE YEARS after I wrote it.

And my practice is thriving. Thanks for asking.