Showing posts from July, 2016

David Hilburn is still Alive and Well

From our Bad Rumor-Squashing Department . . . I was asked today by a concerned attorney whether or not beloved former prosecutor (and Brazos County) David Hilburn had passed away.  Since Dave is a really good friend of mine, I was pretty sure I would have heard that news, but I texted him to be sure. Dave was happy to report that he is still alive and well, but acknowledged that this was the second time this week that someone had texted him to ask if he was dead. Apparently, another David Hilburn passed away recently and that David was a friend of a friend on Facebook, who had subsequently posted "RIP David Hilburn," and that's where the confusion began. So, rest easy friends, Dancing Dave is still not dead.

Rocks, Hard Places and Writs of Attachment

Last night, Channel 2 KPRC's Jace Larson profiled the disturbing story of a sexual assault victim who had been placed in the Harris County Jail on a Writ of Attachment after having a nervous breakdown in the trial against her attacker.  The details of the story are mortifying: After a rape victim named Jenny had an obvious mental breakdown while testifying against her attacker, Harris County prosecutors decided the best way to make sure she'd return to complete her testimony was to lock her up in the Harris County Jail. From there, things went from bad to worse.  The report, paraphrasing the lawsuit filed on "Jenny's" behalf by attorney  Sean Buckley  noted: Buckley says his client was put in jail without due process, given a black eye by another inmate while kept in jail for nearly a month over Christmas. Jenny also suffered injuries when she was punched by a jailer after she attacked the guard. Jenny was charged with assault but prosecutors later dropped t

The Perils of Politicians Pandering

Ugh, politicians.  They truly can be nauseating critters. In most cases, the Empty Suit style of shaking hands and kissing babies is innocuous enough.  I mean, if a vote is earned because someone agrees with your gutsy stand that babies are cute, more power to you.  Sadly, the voting public has proven time and again to not be all that hard of a sell when giving up its vote to style over substance.  I could expand on this, or you could just switch over to any major news channel and you'll get the point. Try as I might, though, I just can't get past the frustration of watching elected officials allow political pandering to seep into the criminal justice system.  As I've written time and time again, partisan politics have no place here.  If a candidate wants to sit on a criminal court bench or run for District Attorney, his or her position on abortion, gay marriage, foreign policy and taxes are irrelevant to their job description.  In theory, those who hold elected positio

Simple Tragedy

Like most of you, I've been stunned by the events of the past several days.  The deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling  followed by the attack in Dallas have illustrated that there is now a clear war between those who support #BlackLivesMatter and those who support #BlueLivesMatter. This is the moment we've been waiting for, right?  The official declaration of war? For years, every time a black male died at the hands of the police, it indicated a war was coming.  Every time a police officer died at the hands of a black male, it was a war coming.  The events of this week have surely removed all doubt that we now have a full-fledged war, haven't they?  Clearly the videos graphically depicting the deaths of Castile and Sterling prove a systematic targeting of black males by homicidal cops.  Correspondingly, no one can argue that sniping 12 cops from an elevated position isn't "targeting." We obviously have two very homicidal groups of people clash

Just an Observation

I was talking to a friend and fellow defense attorney today.  He told me about a recent experience with a younger prosecutor who had claimed being ready for trial and announcing that a case was "first up."  As it turned out, the prosecutor was not only not ready  for trial, but also knew that the court wasn't going to trial that week -- the bold announcement of being "ready" and "first up" were merely ploys to get trial counsel to take a plea bargain.  The ploy failed, although the defense attorney spent  his  three-day weekend prepping for a trial that the prosecutor knew damn good and well wasn't going to be happening. This particular maneuver by a prosecutor isn't a new one, but it is definitely chickenshit. Our conversation then turned to the departures of three felony Chiefs and one very senior Felony Two from the D.A.'s Office in the past two weeks. "You think they (the four departing prosecutors) ever would have pulled tha