The Campaign For DA

6.20.2015

"The Binders" - Inside The Tarrant County DA's Office


Unrelated Poster Boy

I'm copyrighting that title in the event this becomes a documentary or a horror film.

I told you last week that the story wasn't "how the DA was handling it" but the fact there existed  binders in the Tarrant County DA's office documenting cops lying on the witness stand -- information which may have never been disclosed.  The Star-Telegram finally gets it with this new story

FORT WORTH - One prosecutor wrote “this guy is a chump” in accusing a Willow Park officer of lying on the stand.

“Don’t trust anything he says,” wrote another prosecutor about a Bedford lieutenant.


Regarding a Watauga officer’s testimony, a prosecutor noted that “I thought he was making stuff up or just winging it.”

The comments are among the opinions written by Tarrant County prosecutors and filed in binders in past years in the district attorney’s office, where thousands of forms called “DA Office Updates” are now under the review of District Attorney Sharen Wilson
.

"Tell me lies. Tell me sweet little lies" - Fleetwood Mac (1987)

My head is spinning. The big issue is that this information existed but may not have been disclosed in later cases when the same officer was involved. The underlying issue, which is equally shocking, is that we have cops lying and prosecutors "boldly" documenting it. But that's it? You don't stand up in the middle of the trial and tell the judge you have serious doubts about the trustworthiness of a witness and dismiss the case? Not to mention those officers were allowed to testify in subsequent cases.

And when you think it can't get any worse for cops and prosecutors, look at this weekly legal  update on the law from the official Texas prosecutors' association about the disbarment of a former DA: 


A "sobering moment for prosecutors" indeed.  By the way, a "significant portion of his life" means 18 years. On death row. That's the equivalent of you walking into a cage right now and being released in 2033.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Come on Barry you act like you are shocked by this. I am not one bit surprised that this goes on. Instead of RTG girls you could run a daily incompetent lawyer story. It's just like white trash...there is an endless supply.

Anonymous said...

Tell us all again about your very short and not so sweet career in the Tarrant County District Attorney's office. I need a good laugh. heh

Anonymous said...

Question. Unethical prosecutors can be hammered by the state bar association. Is there any ethical authority to hammer unethical police officers?

Anonymous said...

I don't know who gets scapegoated here but you can believe that Sharen Wilson will come out unscathed. Perhaps she should have vetted the forms a bit before the mass release, but perhaps that is just nitpicking. I don't know how it is going to be explained about how the officers "fudged" but did not lie. We shall see. Maybe Sharen could have attempted to sort that out before the mass release.

Anonymous said...

You didn't keep records of lying cops when you were D.A.? There were plenty to choose from in Wise County back then. Still are today.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, this sounds suspiciously like some half-baked conspiracy theory Alex Jones dreamed up.

DF SpanishWarDonkey

Anonymous said...

Defense attorneys never lie.
Johnny Cochran

Anonymous said...

I don't know who gets scapegoated here but you can believe that Sharen Wilson will come out unscathed. Perhaps she should have vetted the forms a bit before the mass release, but perhaps that is just nitpicking. I don't know how it is going to be explained about how the officers "fudged" but did not lie. We shall see. Maybe Sharen could have attempted to sort that out before the mass release.

OK Obviousman,

Why is that Sharen's job? How do you know she didn't scrub it? She's exposing the scum for what they are.

Anonymous said...

@9:51 AM

You might be right. You might be wrong.

She was obligated to turn over Brady, which the ones that called an officer a liar clearly are. The other ones are not clearly Brady, and probably did not need to be rushed out. Most of them are probably DA work product.

She could have done some form of investigating before releasing those files. Had she done that, she could have avoided embarrassing some cops and some of her employees. I don't think she cares about that, personally. I think she cares more about making herself look better at the expense of others.

Anonymous said...

These forms were no secret. As part of the post-trial evaluation, prosecutors were supposed to fill out the forms to evaluate the officer's performance. In theory, prosecutors would review the forms in preparing for trial or in considering a reduced charge (i.e. reducing a d.w.i. to obstructing a highway.) If the prosecutor found Brady material, it should have been disclosed. It is interesting to note that out of the thousands of forms, only 16 contained Brady. It is unclear whether those officers subsequently testified and whether the content of those forms were disclosed. In Tarrant County, about half of the defense bar has worked for the DA, so everyone was aware of these binders. Prosecutors working for Tim Curry took pride in their open file policy and their compliance with Brady. I know their were some bad apples, but the vast majority worded hard to be fair to the defense.

Anonymous said...

The officers mentioned in these documents would make excellent man-made cimate change scientists: make up evidence to support desired outcomes, ignore evidence that contradicts desired outcome,, fudge the evidence to obtain desired outcome, or flat out lie to obtain the desired outcome. Blame others who point this out.

Anonymous said...

Obama has declared that it is now ok to use the word nigger whenever and wherever we would like to say it, ain't he great!