Showing posts from July, 2011

The Ever Changing Election Field

As I mentioned with t his post back in February, the 2012 Election Season has begun preposterously early this time around, with most of the activity focusing on which Republicans are going to be vying to retake the criminal court benches lost to Democrats in 2008.  Here we are five months later and the field has already changed significantly from back in February. I thought you all might like an up-to-date guide on how things look right now: The 174th District Court This race has become contested since we last checked in.  Felony District Court Chief Joe Vinas has moved from the race for the 338th District Court (see below for more details on that) to face off against former-prosecutor and local attorney Robert Summerlin.  The winner will face off against Ruben Guerrero on the Democratic side. The 176th District Court Last we looked here, no one had thrown their name in to be the Republican challenger to Incumbent Judge Shawna Reagin.  Since then, former prosecutor and crimina

Tonight's Reasonable Doubt (7/21/11)

Join me and Todd Dupont for tonight's Reasonable Doubt at 8:00 p.m.  Our guest will be defense attorney, legal commentator, and HCCLA President-Elect Chris Tritico . As always, you can tune in to watch it live streaming by clicking here .

Deceptive Trade Practices Downtown?

So, you're running late for court and desperately looking for a parking place, and you come across this sign in front of a parking lot (which looks like it has been carpet bombed); Your interpretation of the sign leads you to believe that: A.  You can park at this lot for a flat fee of $5. B.  You can buy the whole crappy lot for $5. C.  You can park there for ten minutes for $5, but if you stay over an hour, it will be $15. Well, if you guessed "C", you would be correct.  Sadly, I was running late and shelled out the additional $10 more than I expected rather than go look for another spot. The non-apologetic parking lot attendant pointed out to me that the letters "MIN" are written above the dollar sign, so I should have known better. As a side note, you may not want to park at the lot framed by Fannin, Preston, Prairie, and Main.  It's a rip off.

Life at the Galveston County Criminal Justice Center

Yesterday, I headed down to Galveston for their morning docket. I had a pleasant drive down, going against the flow of traffic. I was running a little late for docket, and my client called me on the drive down to say that he was running even later than I was -- a mortal sin in Harris County. I pulled into the parking lot of the Galveston Courthouse, where there was ample (and completely free) parking within fifty yards of the front door of the building. There were no lines to get in the building and going through the metal detectors and security probably took less than a minute.  The security screeners were polite and friendly. There were no lines at the elevator, which was open and waiting the second I cleared security. I went up to court and learned that they had already called docket.  I explained to the court coordinator that my client was running late.  She didn't even ask why.  She just told me to let me know when my client got there and it wouldn't be any pro

New Ways to Ask Questions on Reasonable Doubt

Per a suggestion of one of our loyal viewers, Reasonable Doubt has added a way to ask questions of the hosts and guests on the show on Thursdays. If you have a question, please e-mail it to us at or contact us on Twitter at @ReasDoubt. We look forward to taking your questions. NOTE:  Let us know if you DON'T want us to use your name on the air.

Tonight's Reasonable Doubt (7/14/11)

Tune in tonight for Reasonable Doubt at 8:00 p.m. with me and Todd Dupont.  Our guest will be Carmen Roe , and we'll be talking about juries, the Casey Anthony verdict, and anything else you want to talk about. As always, you can (allegedly) watch it live streaming by clicking here .

New Post on Chronicle Blog

My prosecutor friends are probably going to yell at me for this Chronicle post on the Casey Anthony verdict , but I think it was a gutsy call by the jury, no matter how much I disagree with their verdict.

Scott Greenfield's post on Casey Anthony

As most of you realize by now, the Casey Anthony jury is out deliberating her fate in Florida at the time of this writing.  I haven't commented on it for a variety of reasons -- the two primary ones being that it has nothing to do with Harris County and I haven't been following it in the slightest.  I didn't even realize until about two weeks ago that the pathologist on the case, Dr. Jan Garavaglia (AKA Dr. G) was someone I knew back when she worked for the Bexar County Medical Examiner's Office back in the 1990s. But, I also don't like talking about big media cases that I have no personal knowledge about.  Something about it just doesn't sit right with me. My friend (and absolutely-excellent-writer-you-really-should-be-reading-his-stuff-every-day), Scott Greenfield just published a post on his thoughts about the Casey Anthony case, and I couldn't agree with his position more.  I highly recommend you check it out by clicking here .

The Declaration of Independence

HCCLA members and all others who are interested (and encouraged) to attend will be joining in front the Harris County Criminal Justice System this morning, Friday, July 1st, at 11 a.m. to read the Declaration of Independence.  This was an event that began last year with HCCLA and is the start of a wonderful and noble tradition. In fact, the tradition is spreading across numerous counties in Texas this year and will hopefully grow as the years go by. I know that it is easy to get cynical in the old CJC, but I think it is important to take a moment and realize the principles our Nation is founded upon and how much the legal system and criminal justice system play an every day role in maintaining that. Special thanks to Robb Fickman, HCCLA President Earl Musick and all the other dedicated members of HCCLA for putting on this event.