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Showing posts from October, 2010

An Aggressive Prosecutor

One of the things that I am not proud to admit about myself is that I do actually have a subscription to the Houston Chronicle . In my defense, it is only a weekend subscription and I have it because I do like to kick back on Sunday mornings and read the newspaper and drink coffee. This morning's edition, however, has a column in it from Rick Casey that (as of this writing) still hasn't hit the on-line edition, so I guess for once, it at least helped me get a head start on writing a post. The title of Casey's column nearly made me laugh out loud. It read: My Fantasy: Siegler puts DA on trial. Now, nevermind the fact that Freud could have a Field Day with Mr. Casey based on the title alone, I was still shocked to see Casey write something that could even remotely be considered complimentary of Kelly Siegler . Let's face facts, the Houston Chronicle wouldn't say nice things about Kelly if she took a dinner spoon, dug a mile into the earth, and rescued 33

Last Day of Early Voting

Just a friendly reminder that today is the last day you can early vote. For those of us who work Downtown, the ease and convenience of running over to the Harris County Administration Building to early vote is about 5 billion times than tracking down your actual polling location on Election Day. I hope you'll take advantage of that. I've been excited to see the turnout so far. From what I'm hearing, a lot of the traditionally Republican strongholds around the county are generating the most traffic, which most folks are thinking is indicative of a good year for the 'pubs. I'm hoping that my Republican friends here will still take the time out to VOTE FOR LOREN JACKSON FOR DISTRICT CLERK But whatever you do, just get out there and vote.

Tonight's Reasonable Doubt Halloween Episode

Join us for tonight's Reasonable Doubt, which will be a special Halloween episode. Our guest will be defense attorney and former-prosecutor Mike Hinton , who is going to share with us his memories of prosecuting Ronald Clark O'Bryan -- the famous murderer from Houston who "ruined Halloween" back in the early 1970s. You can tune to it on live video by clicking here . The show starts at 8:00 p.m.

Have You Early Voted Yet? Loren Jackson needs your help.

Normally, when I send out my reminders on this blog it is because of dismal early voting numbers. From the totals that I've seen so far this go-round, it doesn't appear that you guys need too much encouragement to get out the vote. The number of early voters has been excellent. Most folks that I've talked to seem to agree that the conventional wisdom is for a Republican Sweep this year. For the most part, I'd be pretty happy about that. But as in every election there are several "babies" that we don't want thrown out with the bathwater. Please please please remember to take your time through the ballot and make sure to vote for Loren Jackson for District Clerk . I don't care if you are so Republican that you make Dick Cheney look like Nancy Pelosi -- Loren has created a model District Clerk's Office that needs his leadership in the years to come. Please vote for Loren, and remind your friends and family to vote for him too. Even if one o

The End of the Harris County District Attorney's Office

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Well, you know, I always said that I thought Pat Lykos would destroy the Harris County District Attorney's Office, but I was just using that as a figure of speech. Apparently, however, according to the new business cards that the Assistant District Attorney's are getting, the institution that I once worked for is no longer in existence. It has been replaced by The Office of Patricia R. Lykos, District Attorney. So, what are the artists formerly known as Assistant District Attorneys now referred to as? Assistant Pats? Lykosites? Baby Snooks? Little Jimmy and the Minions? I'm so confused. Oh, by the way, for all of you folks who staunchly defend Pat Lykos and say that the Office isn't just all about her and her ego. I offer this as Pat's Exhibit 1.

From Our Society Column . . .

Last Friday, many of our Judges, Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys, and other courthouse personnel put together a fashion show at the Magnolia Hotel benefiting The Jeanette Williams Foundation for Children's Cancer Research . The event, entitled the Feast of Fashion, was for a wonderful cause, and was put together by attorneys Julie Jones, Sherah Miller, and I'm sure a host of other dedicated individuals who worked behind the scenes. The models for the fashion line included court coordinators, defense attorneys, prosecutors, and even Judge Belinda Hill. Julie's husband, attorney Ron Johnson, served as Master of Ceremonies, and attorney Tim Weltin provided the modeling music. It was a great joint effort by a lot of different attorneys in the Harris County Criminal Justice Community. Everyone involved looked amazing! (NOTE: Actually Ron and Tim only looked "okay" compared to the models.) The proceeds of the sold-out event go toward sending children suffering

Early Voting Begins Tomorrow

Monday, October 18 th is the start of Early Voting. As one of my commenters mentioned below, given the confusion following the fire that engulfed the voting machines and who knows what else might cause confusion, the earlier you vote the better. You can vote wherever there is an open polling location during early voting. The ballot for Harris County is apparently about five freaking miles long, but I hope you will take the time to go through each race one by one in making your selections. Straight ticket voting is not responsible voting, and there are some great candidates on both sides of the ballot. As usual, the races that affect us at the CJC are going to be fairly far down the ballot. It is worth the extra time to work your way through it, folks! Frankly, I'm hopeful that the vast majority of the incumbents will be returned to their benches on the judicial side. There are several folks running that have never seen the inside of the courtroom, and have no business b

The Revelation of Rage?

Rage Judicata. You know him. If you're an ADA, you probably don't love him. He and I have had a contentious relationship on this blog. He makes some bombastic statements that I often disagree with. But sometimes he makes some good points and counter-arguments that I think add to the debate. Rage attacks anonymous posters and the blogger known as Black Ink for their views and insults them for their anonymity. His frequent barbs with the late blogger, Arthur Seaton , were often mesmerizing battles of insults unmatched outside of a marriage. However, in the comments section of my link to Black Ink's latest post, Rage threw down a challenge to an anonymous commenter that went something like this: I tell you what, I'll make you the same deal I made Arthur Seaton , and now Black Ink, both of who were too chickenshit to take me up on it--you put your name out there, and I'll put mine. This morning, said Anonymous commenter revealed his name: Harold Simons .

Carol Vance's Boomtown D.A.

I normally don't do much advertising on this blog for a variety of reasons, but I thought some of my readers who were interested in the historical aspects of the Harris County District Attorney's Office, as well as the Harris County Criminal Justice System in general might be interested in reading former District Attorney Carol Vance's book, Boomtown D.A. I was recently provided a copy by the kind folks over at Whitecaps Media , and I've started reading it. Unfortunately, given my schedule these days, I'm a little behind in my book lists. I have read the first couple of chapters, and it is a very interesting book, especially to me as a former-prosecutor. The salaries and the (lack of) manpower that the office had back in the late 1950s is a stark contrast to what there is today, and it is hard to imagine Harris County ever being so small that that would be manageable. It is kind of like if they were doing a Mad Men version of the D.A.'s Office. Back when

Black Ink's Latest

Black Ink has a new blog post that you can read here . The post is excellent in its own right. Black Ink's comment at 8:17 a.m. is downright inspiring.

Speaking of Lykos Investigations . . .

Hey Pat, Have you wrapped up this one you announced yet? It has been over half a year and I'm still waiting on the results of your analysis. Sincerely, Commissioner Gordon

The Shamelessness of Pat Lykos

In this morning's Houston Chronicle, there is an editorial entitled "Laurels for Lykos " . In the editorial, the author of the editorial lauds Lykos from clearing out the DNA backlog (which was underway long before she got there) and for her launching the investigation into the death of Asher Brown (which I mentioned in the post below). The praise that they are heaping on Lykos becomes so frenzied that the author even has to blurt out: "It's hard to imagine Lykos ' predecessor, Chuck Rosenthal , concerning himself about such an issue [Asher Brown]. The DA's office has certainly changed, and for the better." Well, the author of that is kind of correct about that, actually. Chuck Rosenthal w ouldn't have launched an investigation into Asher Brown's suicide. Because Chuck Rosenthal would have known that there wasn't a crime to investigate. Asher Brown committed suicide because he was being bullied at school. The bullies who

Bullies

By now, I'm sure that you have heard about the tragic story of Asher Brown. He was a 13-year-old eighth grader at Hamilton Middle School out of Cy-Fair who committed suicide last week by shooting himself with his step-father's handgun. The reason for what in the world could cause a 13-year-old to truly believe his young life was no longer one worth living? Bullies. Apparently, young Asher was taunted mercilessly "for his small size, because he didn't wear designer clothes and because he was Buddhist". It seems that since the Dawn of Time there have always been bullies in one form or another. I'm sure you dealt with them growing up. So did your parents. So did their parents. There never seems to be a shortage of people who hold more power , strength, or popularity than someone less fortunate who elect to use said power, strength, or popularity to abuse . It isn't limited to 8th graders, either. In another highly publicized case this week, 18-ye