Showing posts from January, 2020

Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic

I had a moment of confusion this morning at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center, when I hopped on one of the building's infamous elevators. The normal, dark wood paneling with the flimsy metal borders and carved graffiti interior had been replaced with shiny metal.  The dark gray flooring had been replaced with a pinkish tile.  It looked space-aged compared to the previous bucket of bolts that had been the trademark of the inefficient transport system that we have all come to know and hate at the CJC. The little floor monitor thingy that (on days when it was working) told elevator occupants what floor we were stopping on no longer utilized the glowing red, digital numerals found on 1990's-era alarm clocks (and timers for bomb countdowns in spy movies).  It had been replaced by a cool new video monitor that showed the floor we were on, superimposed over an image of the CJC!   It was all very exciting.  In the two years and five months since Hurricane Har

A Letter from a Juror

I received an e-mail from this evening from a juror on a recent case tried down at the CJC.  It wasn't one of my cases, but he wanted to share some of his insights on his experience that I thought were pretty interesting.  I'm sharing what he wrote here, with his permission.  Hopefully, a County Commissioner or County Judge might take note of it too. Murray, I recently finished serving on a felony murder trial jury, and I’d like to offer some comments and ask a question that other lay folk might be wondering. (Nothing about the case, btw).  You probably know all of this, but serving on a jury for the first time it was quite an adventure. You have written on the terrible conditions in the criminal court building. After fighting long security lines, elevators, crowded hallways, and general frustration for a week, I can testify that things are terrible. How disappointing things are in this shape 2 1/2 years after hurricane Harvey. Also, the underground jury assembly room is stil

Steven "Rocket" Rosen

I was very saddened to hear of the passing of highly respected and beloved attorney Steven "Rocket" Rosen today. Most of us in the courthouse community have known that Rocket was battling Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS) for the past couple of years and that he was the very definition of a courageous fighter against a very cruel and debilitating disease.  Over the past two years, he posted multiple videos of himself standing defiantly against the disease, offering encouraging and strong messages about those things that were truly important in life.  To say that his messages were inspirational would be an understatement.  But long before Rocket's battle with ALS, he was well known as a fighter in the courtroom.  He was a well-known attorney who handled many high profile cases with flamboyance, skill, and knowledge.  His reputation as an excellent attorney ranked as one of the finest that Harris County had to offer. When I was interning at the D.A.'s Office during


I learned that a friend of mine died today. Not a close friend, really, but a friend nonetheless. She was someone that started around the same time as me at the D.A.'s Office, although I think she hired on just a little bit before I did.  I'm not going to write her name here because I don't want this to be something that pops up if someone looks up her name on Google.  I'm not trying to hide who I'm talking about from those of us who knew her.  If you worked within the CJC in the past 20 years, you will doubtlessly know who I am talking about. I learned of her passing through a random text message.  She died on January 3rd.  I feel kind of like a shitty friend for only learning about it today. When we were prosecutors together, I only knew her in passing.  She was really pretty.  I mean, she was really really pretty.  I was kind of scared to talk to her back then, all things considered. But life dealt her a series of really bad hands.  She lost loved ones