The Campaign For DA

9.04.2015

Random Friday Morning Thughts




  • If I fire off a draft of a random thought that gets me thinking (and researching), I know what I'll end up writing something which may be for an audience of one: Me. You have been warned. 
  • Sports: (1) Despite the close final score of 23-17, TCU shouldn't be worried about last night's performance, (2) TCU should be worried that QB Trevone Boykin is going to get injured if they keep letting him get exposed, (3) Or Boykin needs to learn to get down. Given the choice of two more yards and getting killed or dropping like a rag doll, I'd tell my star QB to drop like a rag doll, (4) Two Baylor players were suspended for today's game so you don't have to tell me about it, (5) Michael Irvin's math at the the Cowboy's Opening Banquet as well as "closing" the preseason last night were golden. I'll try to find links for it. 
  • Someone always writes that I voted for Obama twice, favor gun control, and am pro-choice. Uh, buddy, spend the weekend trying to find where I have ever said that. Unlike saying that marijuana should be legalized (which I have), you may think I've said those things or even implied it, but I've never unequivocally stated it. 
  • Legal disclaimer: There is no cash prize for someone presenting evidence in the next 30 minutes which makes me wish I never wrote the above bullet point. 
  • Get ready, I'm going a little deep . . . 
  • A "revenge porn law" has gone into effect in Texas. (Very Over Simplified: It makes it a crime for Person Two to post a naked picture of Person One even if Person One sent Person Two the photo so long as Person One did so "with a reasonable expectation that it would remain private"). We aren't talking about Person One being able to sue Person Two for money. We are talking about the government making it a crime with possible jail time. Think about this: A guy posting that pic is engaging in "speech". (If he writes something, it is speech. The same is true if he paints a naked picture, or took and saved a photo of someone naked. Or has a photo of someone else and sends it to someone else. All of those examples are "speech" under the constitution. If you don't understand any of this, stop reading.) So does the Revenge Porn law violate his right to Free Speech? The photo in itself is not illegal -- just like Playboy is not illegal. So can the government make it a crime because the person photographed didn't "reasonably believe" it would go public?  Should that even matter? I'm not allowed to repeat your speech just because you thought I wouldn't? What if the law read that it was a crime to describe in words what the photo looked like? Remember, words and photos are both "speech". Let's go further: What if the law read that it was a crime for Person B to reveal to a written fantasy authored by Person A that she sent to Person B when Person A had a reasonable expectation that her writings would remain private?  Man, I love this stuff. 
  • Donald Trump has signed a pledge to not run as a third party candidate and support the GOP nominee regardless of who it is. At first I thought he was caving and acting like a true politician. However,South Carolina requires that type of pledge in order to get on the primary ballot. (Side note: How is that constitutional?) Even if he is doing a bit, he would want that bit to last past the South Carolina primary.
  • I've received the autopsy report of Alan Alverson in the case involving the Police Dog Pepper Shooting. No news in it that hasn't already been released. But I've learned that in addition to the Messenger who has tried to obtain information from Paige Williams, Montague DA, so has Barbara Green of the Bowie News.
  • Open Records abuse rant coming. I'm going in deep again  . . . 
  • I wrote the other day about the  552.108(a)(2) which is the exception law enforcement uses to dodge open records requests. They use it because it has been so wildly interpreted that it is now abused. That exception allows records to NOT be released if: "it is information that deals with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of crime only in relation to an investigation that did not result in conviction or deferred adjudication."  I promise you the following is true: Right now if your local police agency decided to follow you around, photograph you, interview friends and acquaintances, gather your DNA from a restaurant glass, pretend to be someone else on the Internet which caused you to engage in email exchanges, etc. and that "investigation" created 1,000 pages of information, you could never get those records from the police under the Open Records Act because (1) the agency could simply say "we heard there might be criminal activity going on so we were trying to detect it", and (2) you were not convicted or received deferred adjudication probation. 
  • There are criminal penalties for violating the Open Meetings Act, but I don't think there are any criminal penalties for violation of Texas Public Information Act. 
  • Wait? Don't we have dashcam videos and 911 calls typically released to the press within days after an incident and before a case goes to the grand jury? How is that possible?: The agency voluntary releases it and doesn't try to rely on some BS exception. 
  • This day's Random Thoughts are CLOSED.