The Campaign For DA

6.20.2008

Allow Me To Retort


There are just some people in this world that I have a weird negative obsession with. Troy Dungan, believe or not, is one. Nancy Grace, Sean Hannity, and David Dewhurst also come to mind.

But there's another guy as well: Williamson County DA John Bradley. I've never met the guy, but he speaks at seminars and is always posting on the TDCAA message board. He's smart - I'll give him that, but he's arrogant, condescending, and a right wing nutcase. My guess is that he lives in his own distorted reality due to the fact he prosecutes in a county that is basically affluent and white. That demographic makes it easy picking from a prosecutor's standpoint. Heck, a monkey could win cases there.

Edit: I completely screwed everything else up. A commenter is correct. My following rant concerned a sentence not written by Bradley. He'd probably have said it, but I can't dog him for this. But I'll leave my error up sentence I deserve the grief. I feel like an idiot.

But as I was browsing through the Texas Prosecutor magazine, I noticed that he had contributed to a column about how important it is for prosecutors to assist each other. I read it as part of my obsession - certain he'd say something that would drive me insane. After suffering through the boring part (did you know he has a degree in English and managed an ice cream store after college?), he mentioned an occasion when he had been assisted by an out of state prosecutor:
My first real dose of prosecutorial hospitality came at the hands of an assistant district attorney from Milwaukee—it was so long ago I can’t even recall his name. A man accused of capital murder [a death penalty case] in Brazos County had an extensive criminal background in Wisconsin. The Milwaukee prosecutor assisted us in a number of legal battles in Wisconsin. After working tirelessly on the case and after completing his work, he felt obligated to ask me to spare the defendant’s life if I could. Even though he was morally opposed to the death penalty, he did not hesitate to help a Texas prosecutor do his job. His attitude left a lasting impression.
I was struck by the "ask me" phrase. The man asked "me" not to cause the execution of the defendant. Yeah, that's a man whose full of himself but, technically, he's right. An elected DA does make the decision whether or not to seek the death penalty. It's a crazy system and completely arbitrary.

But then it dawned on me: Bradley has never been the elected DA in Brazos County. If he was involved at all in a death penalty case there, it would have been as an assistant or in some other manner where he worked only in a supporting role. But, apparently, he had the power over life and death. Even back then.

Ok, obsession satisfied. For the moment.