The Campaign For DA


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

  • Trump toned down his rhetoric towards Iran until the Iranian president said, the White House was "afflicted by mental retardation." Now he is ready for a full scale war.
  • We have a new White House press secretary,  Stephanie Grisham. There hasn't been a televised press briefing in 107 days. 
  • The Star-Telegram has a great article about how marijuana possession cases are now in jeopardy because the State will need to prove a certain threshold level of THC in the Devil's Lettuce in order to meet the requirements of a new law. The problem is that most Texas labs aren't prepared to do that. (It impacts cases after 6/10/19 when the law took effect.) 
  • For those familiar with the Bart Reagor saga out of Lubbock (the car dealer who went bankrupt after an avalanche of lawsuits), he has hired a PR firm which produced a video to revamp his image. It is as bad as you would expect. 
    "I keep it real by having an old football pic of me framed and on the floor. "
  • A good car dealer has to know how to execute a good bit for his clientele. When in Alabama ...
  • On Monday, I posted a pic of a Louisville pitcher who was caught taunting the Vanderbilt dugout.  I had no idea the clean-cut kid with glasses who was dropping F-bombs had wild hair under his cap: 
  • Student loan forgiveness? No way! That's one step closer to socialism and the next thing you know we'll be bailing out the auto industry, big banks, and farmers. 
  • Guess who's coming to dinner?
  • For those following the Wesley Mathews trial -- the Richardson father accused of killing her leaving his adopted daughter, Sherin Mathews, in a drainage ditch after not taking steps to save her  -- I don't think the jury will buy his story. But I wonder how in the world the mother was indicted in the first place. (The case was dismissed earlier this year, and I wrote about how Richardson police were mad about it.) Edit: It starts up again at 8:30 this morning with the defendant testifying on cross. Watch it. 
  • The feds are after Rep. Duncan Hunter for allegedly spending $250,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses. Personal expenses which include spending on a wife and five extra-martial affairs. (His wife pleaded guilty earlier this year, and has turned on him.)
    And they know that about $32

    "Strongly" believes in family values. 
  • I used to talk about retiring to the jungle of Costa Rica until a couple of acts of violence got my attention. Maybe I'll change that to Belize. Or maybe not. 
  • Fun fact to make you ponder government structure: There was an election last night for the DA of Queens, New York. So? Queens has more people than New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming -- who, combined, get 30 U.S. Senators. (And for the 1% who do care about the Queens DA race, it is too close to call between Tiffany and Melinda with 99% of precincts reporting.)
  • Messenger: Above The Fold
"They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists.
And some, I assume, are good people." -  Donald Trump


Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts

  • Shawn Younger, a DPS sergeant in Decatur, was indicted last Thursday under cause number CR-21417 for "TAMPER/FABRICATE PHYS EVID W/INTENT TO IMPAIR" according to Wise County online records. Fort Worth attorney Bill Ray is the special prosecutor. (That's about all I know right now, and I have no idea if the case is legitimate or not.) 
  • One of my big rants over the years is people being criminally prosecuted for what used to be considered a car wreck, and I mentioned a couple of months back about a case out of Tyler featured in Texas Monthly. In general, a guy was prosecuted for drinking at a golf course and a restaurant afterwards, not being legally intoxicated, and then having a car wreck by failing to negotiate a curve. That wreck ended up in the death of a young girl, and the driver being sent to prison, shockingly, for 10 years. Late last week, the Tyler court of appeals affirmed his conviction (but at least gave him a new punishment hearing because of a lawyer screw up.) But it's a 2-1 decision and the dissent was spot on: Drinking and driving is not illegal in Texas. Drinking and being intoxicated and driving is. But the majority "blurs that distinction" in a criminally negligent homicide case because a tragic accident occurred.  I hope the Texas Court of Appeals reviews this one. The man is sitting in prison. 
  • Lightening rod Jonathon Stickland announced he won't run for the Texas Legislature again. The Tea Party darling and Empower Texans PAC golden boy, barely won re-election last time. 
    Krause thought this was a good look?
  • I didn't watch it, but a couple of members of  the Wallenda family walked a tightrope at Times Square on Sunday on live TV.  I'm surprised it didn't end in injury because Joel Osteen said a prayer for them beforehand. (Side note: The fact that they wore a safety harness probably eliminated the need for any thoughts and prayers from Osteen.) 
  • TDCAA, the official prosecutors organization in Texas, has a pretty good publication which is available for all to see. But a recent cover story on "implicit bias" got my attention when it had this very odd tip to not let racial bias sneak into a trial. If a prosecutor tried this, I'd be worried they were at Charlottesville (on the bad side.) 
  • From the WFAA archives, a quick video of kids riding the old slide at Six Flags. I rode that thing. You would catch a bizarre amount of air (as evidenced by the kid at the end who looks like he needs to be in traction after the ride.)
  • If you like those old videos from WFAA, you'll love this one: "In what is an insane series of words, Oaklawn’s The Patch Go-Go Club in Dallas is having its go-go dancers dance for 21 hours straight to help Jerry Lewis’ telethon fight muscular dystrophy. Bill O’Reilly reports. WFAA Collection. September 1976."
  • Trump responded again to the accusation that he raped the women who was on the cover of New York magazine: "She's not my type."  He's the only guy who can deny something with words which make you certain that he did it. 
  • Is it called "It's Like Getting a Root Canal" tour?
  • Funny exchanged up at the courthouse yesterday when a group was discussing the novel legal question: Can a person who has voluntarily agreed to provide a sample of his blood revoke that consent after the blood is drawn but before it is analyzed by the lab? Lawyer #1: "I'd get a court order!" Lawyer #2: "Get a court order? What is this? C.S.I.?"
  • There's nothing wrong with the "deal" below: The prosecution is guaranteed a conviction and the defendant now faces a maximum of life in prison with eligibility for parole in 30 years instead of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The jury will hear the same facts had no plea bargain occurred. 


Random Monday Morning Thoughts

  • This "suspicious" truck caused the federal courthouse and surrounding streets in downtown Dallas to be shut down this morning. 
  • On Friday, yet another woman accused Trump of sexual assault -- this time via cover story in the New York magazine. Trump then told Bloomberg ,"I've never met this person in my life." There was a photo showing them meeting included with the article

  • A local radio personality ran into a Facts of Life star in Plano on Friday. Lisa Whelchel grew up in Lake Worth. 
  • In a crazy case I've mentioned before, the Supreme Court on Friday reversed yet again a case out of Mississippi where the prosecutor intentionally struck African-Americans off of the jury panel. The defendant has been tried six times -- and every time by the same racist prosecutor, Doug Evans. Clarence Thomas issued a dissent. You want to know how a judge has no legal authority to support his position? He opens his opinion with gruesome facts which have nothing to do with the legal issue at hand. It doesn't matter if the discrimination during jury selection occurs during a trial for murder, DWI, or speeding. 
  • A loud boom was heard from Jacksboro to Watauga last week, and the Springtown PD was not buying the government's official position. 
  • Remember that deputy city manager in Wichita Falls who, after decades of service, was fired after cops took his curbside trash, found  a baggie of "green plant" residue along with " Clear Eyes Redness Relief", and raided his house on a search warrant because of it? Well, police finally disclosed they found just a misdemeanor amount of weed in his house.  
  • This guy got 15 minutes of fame with a slow motion lip reading video at the College World Series over the weekend. Those glasses coupled with his fury were the perfect match.
  • A cornerback out of Arlington took an official recruiting visit on Saturday to Texas and then posted this pic. Yeah, it's all in good fun, but I remember a time when the convergence of "new car" and "recruiting" were hot bed topics not to joke about.
  • From DWI criminal law practitioners: There has been a limited recall on some blood kits used by law enforcement. The official Texas prosecutor association said this: "These tubes are used nationwide for the collection of blood alcohol determinations and are widely used in forensic testing for DWI cases. Law enforcement agencies should be notified to stop using tubes from this lot."
  • Other criminal law practitioner news: A defense lawyer out of Waco was arrested on a solicitation of a minor charge. "Layman graduated from Baylor Law School in August 2014 and worked that year as an intern for the Collin County District Attorney’s Office in McKinney. In November, Layman worked for two days as an unlicensed assistant in the district attorney’s office before he was terminated, authorities said." 
  • I told you last week Trump was lying when he said he was going to round up "millions" of Jews, Races He Considers Inferior, People Without Papers "illegal aliens." He just makes stuff up. 
  • You had one job. (And that's one long beam.)
  • You might have seen the Trump lawyer, Sarah Fabian, arguing before the Ninth Circuit that those children who are detained seeking asylum, who are entitled by agreement to "safe and sanitary" conditions, doesn't necessarily mean having access to soap or a toothbrush or being able to sleep. She makes $162,673.00. (And with that salary you would think she could dress a little better for oral arguments.)
  • Look who also took notice of Texas's increasing Hispanic population.  This is nothing other than a not-so-subtle message to his base. (He got such blow back from this that he had to issue a pandering follow-up tweet calling Hispanics "hard working, patriotic, religious, family-oriented believers in the American Dream.")
  • Messenger: Above The Fold


It's Friday. Let's Get Out Of Here.

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

  • So what the heck is going on with Iran? They shoot a drone down (which may or may not have been in their air space), and Trump then ominously tweets that "Iran made a very big mistake!" Uh, oh. Is a war coming over a drone? But he then turns right around and tells the press hours later that it was a mistake because "a general or somebody" did something they "shouldn't have been doing" and the move was "loose and stupid." So that's what you meant? 
  • Edit: Trump said he called off the strike (we were "cocked and loaded") with "10 minutes" to spare because a general told him "150 people" would die. (Side note: The New York Times was absolutely right on its scoop this morning.)
  • But wait, there's more. Overnight he then decides to bomb Iran over that "mistake" and then changes his mind.  
  • I watched When They See Us, the Netflix film on the Central Park Five. It's pretty good, but I'm sure there was a great deal of poetic license taken with the truth. I expected that. But one thing I believe: The portrayal of prosecutor Linda Fairstein. I've known prosecutors like that. It's this weird mindset where they convince themselves someone is guilty when no rationale person would believe it. At the very least, they should have a reasonable doubt about it. I used to think they were just guided by their own blind arrogance, but I'm not so sure now. Prosecutors like Fairstein want to see the world as black and white. That there is no gray. That from the moment they pick up a new file they just know it must contain the facts of good versus evil.   
  • The Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells is (finally) getting restored at a cost of $65 million.  Man, that seems risky.  And I wonder what the cost would be to tear it down and recreate it versus renovating it. Look at that mess . . . 
  • That Houston drug raid where the cops lied to get a search warrant and then went in and killed two innocent people in their home (and their dog) keeps getting messier
  • I think I'm becoming a Justice Gorsuch fan. Yesterday he dissented to a decision allowing Congress to basically let the Attorney General create federal sexual offender registration laws. It began: 
  • I don't feel strongly about whether the Supreme Court's other significant ruling that a World War I memorial consisting of a giant cross doesn't violate the Establishment Clause, but I am concerned that the basis of whether or not something is Constitutional is based upon whether some Americans will get their feelings hurt. I didn't know that was the standard. 
  • The Navy SEAL who might get pardoned by Trump if convicted for the alleged war crime of stabbing a prisoner to death made the news yesterday with sensational headlines like the one below.  I'd tapped the brakes on that. The testimony came from a medic who testified that "he himself held his thumb over a breathing tube that had been inserted into the militant's mouth" and that's what killed him. Is that a big deal in this military court? I doubt it. Why did he do it?: “Because I knew he was going to die anyway,” Scott answered. “I wanted to save him from what was going to happen next to him."  
  • Roy Moore from Alabama has announced that he will again run for the U.S. Senate. (Someone quipped that "At least there's a big mall in Washington for him.")  The video link for the flashback from below is here
  • Even Trump Jr. is distancing from Roy Moore. But in doing so he shows how the Trump family has dishonestly bastardized the term "Fake News."  He may question Moore's intentions, but it is not fake news to accurately report that he said, "I'm not going against President Trump." 
  • "LEGISLATIVE UPDATE – State Senator Pat Fallon will give a legislative update at 4 p.m. today at the RB Golf Club and Resort in Runaway Bay." On a Friday at 4:00? Doesn't he know we'll be out of here?