An insider's view of what is really happening in the Harris County Criminal Courts
Must be nice for those media ADAs to let bloggers like you do their job. Nice, thoughtful, practical piece. No way that Gang could produce anything like it, not that they even tried. I suggest you send an invoice to the media ADA. How many of them are there now?
Who is kidding who? The office media ADA isn't there for the office - but is a "Lykos for DA" campaign marketing consultant. The media ADA has released two types of communications 1) Branding of the Office..."Pat Lykos..."; and 2) "after-the-fact summaries" where Lykos takes credit for good things or blames someone else for bad things. Nothing released has benefitted the office or the upcoming cases - the only benefit recipient is Patsy's image. This alone is definitely a campaign ethics violation that should be investigated and stopped.
The most prudent advice when visiting with jurors at the conclusion of trial is to let them initiate the conversation, let them ask the questions, and only respond. That eliminates to a fair extent a claim of harassment or embarrassment. D.R. 3.06(d) , however, is a problem in application by use of the term "calculated" as opposed to "intended" - there is too much wiggle room. For example, a typical juror question might be: "Did you have any evidence of the defendant being previously in trouble?" and with a response of "The defendant had two prior assault convictions ruled inadmissible under the rules of evidence by the judge." Depending upon the tone and inflextion of voice, visual action, and other responses, the foregoing response could be "calculated" ("intended") to harrass and embarrass, and be in violation of the D.R., or to merely educate and address the question and arguably not be a violation. The bottom line is depending upon whose ox is being gored D.R. 3.06(d)is not as simple in its application as it might seem.Calvin A. Hartmann
Interesting. I was an alternate juror on a murder trial in Maryland about 10 years ago. After the "real" jury went in to deliberate, I hung around and talked to the defense attorney and the prosecutor. I found it a stimulating conversation and they seemed interested in what worked for me and what didn't. Ultimately, the jury returned a guilty verdict that I would not have agreed with, so I don't know if my perceptions were all that useful to them.
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