Friday, April 7, 2017

Episode Three: Revenge of the Fifth (Amendment) -- A One Act Sci-Fi Play

SCENE:  The Death Star orbits over Downtown Houston.  [Interior]  A galactic conference room for a Tuesday Show & Tell Meeting.  EMPRESS OGG sits at the head of the table, as the rest of her Imperial Officers sit to the sides.

EMPRESS OGG:  Tell me, Vice Admiral Berg, where do we stand on our budget?

VICE ADMIRAL BERG:  Well, Empress, after farming out the Goforth case, we took another big hit on the budget.  With that and the Irsan case in Planet 184, we've had to outsource two death capitals.  There's a possibility that the tab on the two cases could reach well over a million dollars.

EMPRESS OGG:  A million?!  Mother of Yoda!!

VICE ADMIRAL BERG:  Yes, the numbers are concerning.  We may need to downsize your Imperial Guard.

EMPRESS OGG:  By how many?

VICE ADMIRAL BERG:  Well, um, like all of them?

EMPRESS OGG:  Unacceptable.  There must be another option.

CORPORAL LEITNER:  We could stop recusing ourselves off of death capital cases.

EMPRESS OGG:  That would cause a disturbance in the Soros.

CORPORAL LEITNER:  You mean the Force?

EMPRESS OGG:  No, I mean Soros.  George Soros.  Guy gave me a TON of money!  What we need is a good, high profile case, that I, the Imperial Empress Attorney can personally try, so that the good people of Houston will know that sometimes we keep cases.

LIEUTENANT MITCHAM:  Well, we do actually have a case you might like.  I see that beloved Houston Rockets point guard, James Harden, was robbed at the Toyota Center.

EMPRESS OGG:  Hot damn!  I'm all over it.  Call Jar Jar in here for a press conference.  Do we have a suspect?

LIEUTENANT MITCHAM:  Um, looks like the suspect is J.J. Watt.

EMPRESS OGG:  Nope.  Get me my "Recusal" stamp.

CORPORAL LEITNER:  What are the grounds for recusal?

EMPRESS OGG:  My cousin's neighbor met J.J. once.  Got to avoid that appearance of impropriety, ya know.  No special treatment around this place.  No sirree, Bob.

VICE ADMIRAL BERG:  On to the next order of business . . .

EMPRESS OGG:  Yes, I'd like for you all to extend a warm Oggnacious welcome to our newest employee, community liason, David Temple.


DAVID TEMPLE:  Howdy, y'all.

EMPRESS OGG:  David comes highly recommended by Jabba Denholm and Boba Clappart.

LIEUTENANT MITCHAM:  Doesn't he still have murder charges pending?

EMPRESS OGG:  For just a little bit longer.

LIEUTENANT MITCHAM:  So, are we recusing the Office now?

EMPRESS OGG:  No.  Why do you ask?


VICE ADMIRAL BERG:  So, on another topic, apparently we've made Viceroy Kubosh angry over this whole Murder for Hire case where the newspaper revealed he was our Informant.

EMPRESS OGG:  How did the newspaper know?  Tom, I thought we agreed you weren't to speak to the Press again after the whole Buzbee Debacle.

VICE ADMIRAL BERG:  It wasn't me, this time.

EMPRESS OGG:  Then what happened?

LIEUTENANT MITCHAM:  Kubosh's name was in the Probable Cause warrant for the arrest.

EMPRESS OGG:  Why was his name put in the warrant?

JABBA DENHOLM:  No way around it.  Gotta put that confidential informant's name in the old warrant-roosky.  Says right there in Penal Code section something or other.

LIEUTENANT MITCHAM:  Actually, you never put a confidential informant's name in a warrant.  That's why they are called "confidential."


LIEUTENANT MITCHAM:  We draft narcotics warrants all the time where we protect confidential informant names.  It is standard practice.

JABBA DENHOLM:  Agree to disagree.  Hey, Jimbo, are you going to finish that breakfast taco?

CORPORAL LEITNER tries to protect the remains of his breakfast taco, only to have DAVID TEMPLE snatch it out of his hand and give it to JABBA.

TEMPLE:  Interception!!

JABBA DENHOLM:  Thanks, buddy.

TEMPLE:  I owe you huge, bro.

JABBA and TEMPLE high five.

EMPRESS OGG:  From now on, no more putting confidential informants' names in warrants so the press can read them.  I'm very disappointed in you, Denholm.  Corporal Leitner, write up a memo detailing Jabba's transgressions and put it in his file.

JABBA DENHOLM:  Oh come on!  How was I supposed to know this?

LIEUTENANT MITCHAM:  Are you sure that you're a lawyer?

JABBA DENHOLM:  Screw you, C3P0.

CAPTAIN KING:  Don't worry, Jabba.  I'll re-write the memo and tone it down so much that it won't even seem like a complaint was ever even filed.

JABBA DENHOLM:  Thanks, Vivian.

EMPRESS OGG:  Okay, good meeting everyone.  We are adjourned.  And remember, what do we say if anyone ever asks us about what we talk about here?

STAFF (IN UNISON):  We plead the Fifth!

EMPRESS OGG:  Excellent.  Dismissed.

CORPORAL LEITNER:  Sigh.  This is just like the Lykos Death Star.



Anonymous said...

" liason, David Temple." When I read this, I laughed so hard I nearly fell from my chair. Then I simply felt sick by the way Ogg's Temple albatross is playing out. There's a generally accepted principle that when we have to ask the question, "Can anyone really be that stupid?", the answer is always "YES!"

Anonymous said...

God I miss Ted Wilson at HCDAO

Anonymous said...

For over a thousand generations, the prosecutors were the guardians of peace and justice in Harris County. Before the dark times, before the Empire.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord,

The incompetent rehires just keep coming. Rehiring people who left as felony 3's or lower does not enhance your bench. I am afraid to see who is next.

Anonymous said...

Can't be more incompetent than the people she brought in with her originally. Actually- I take that back. Every time I say Ogg can't be that stupid, she surprises me.

I love that the last person who quit called out the absolutely clueless leadership as her reason for leaving. I feel so bad for those that are left.

Anonymous said...

Who was rehired?

Anonymous said...

The two people with the most institutional knowledge of HCCAO are Durfee and Oncken. God help us.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the county saved some big bucks with the Goforth case being handled by Montgomery County.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else see any ethical issues with this GoFundMe page set up for Joanne and the defense bar contributing? Before anyone jumps down my throat, what happened to her husband is tragic, and I'm sorry for that. I just think that if people want to donate, they should do so anonymously.

Murray Newman said...

Anon 4:36 p.m.,

I don't see any ethical issues with the GoFundMe page. The fact of the matter is that many of the players in the CJC have known each other for a long time and through different roles. Friendships develop and they don't stop when people those roles change. People that donate in times like these do it because of the friendship, not because of the role they hold.

If I had to stop socializing or being friends with attorneys because they became judges or because they were prosecutors, I'd cut away over 50% of my friends.

And friends help each other in times of need.

You just have to look at the primary motivation for the donation, and I would imagine in JoAnne's case, the donations would be unquestionably based on friendship.

Anonymous said...

Traditionally, Harris County prosecutors worked intake shifts during periods of financial stress for their families. Without intake, it looks like the future consists of defense-bar funded charity. Guess I should start using all my newly free evenings to hang out with defense lawyers, to prepare for my time of need.

Anonymous said...

Good god. JoAnne Musick is a human being and so is her husband. If you want a second higher payjng job, go get one. But using this family's suffering as an avenue to complain about your job is despicable.

Anonymous said...

First of all you should have capitalized "God". Secondly this forum allows for people to complain about whatever they want, no matter how despicable you might find it. Murray loves that First Amendment.

A Go-Fund-Me seems appropriate. Soros was essentially a Go-Fund-Me donor for Kimbra.

I notice Kimbra has not donated yet.

I know. You find me despicable too.

Anonymous said...

When I worked at the DAs office, we took up a collection in the office for those who needed help and always reached our goal. No defense attorneys involved.

Perhaps Durfee can be queried about the ethics of a Go-Fund-Me collection or does he do that anymore?

Anonymous said...

When Gilbert Alvarado's first wife died shortly after the twins were born in the lates 90s, the defense bar went to JBH complaining about being banned from contributing to the DA's collection for the family, contending that it should be an exception to the prohibition of GTPS because personal relationships can arise from work relationships and if this were a member of the defense bar, prosecutors would contribute. JBH felt it wasn't his call to make so he called Jim Levine, formally star in Special Crimes and then employed by civil firm, and after researching the issue, Levine gave the green light. And the defense bar was incredibly generous.
So, really, Durfee doesn't need to weigh in. The issue has been fully vetted.
Besides, JoAnn was a member of the defense bar for years. These were her friends prior to taking this position.

Anonymous said...

Can someone provide a link to the GoFundMe site?

Anonymous said...

I meant late 80s. Can't type worth shit on iPhone.
Shirley Cornelius

Anonymous said...

I have worked in the criminal courthouse for many, many years and one of the things I love about it is the way that people help each other - no matter which side they are on at the time (and many of us have switched sides multiple times). Please - Let's fight over cases and policies - but not over kindness.

Jason Truitt said...

So Murray would lose two friends. Big deal.

Episode Seven: The Voters Awaken - A One Act -Sci-Fi Play

SCENE:  The Death Star orbits over Downtown Houston. [INTERIOR] The Imperial Council Chambers. EMPRESS OGG sits at the head of a long table ...