The Campaign For DA

9.01.2015

Random Tuesday Morning Thoughts



  • As I was walking to the office this morning on the courthouse square, I heard gun blasts in the distance. What the heck? Ahhh . . . the first day of Dove Season. 
  • I mentioned how I like the new signs in Decatur directing people to the football stadium, downtown, police, etc. But I've noticed many of them are in peoples' yards. And not on the corner like a stop sign. I mean at the center of the front property line and recessed about three feet back. That's weird, isn't it? Does a city have an easement? Is there some state law? If not, shouldn't they have to pay for the taking of property under eminent domain rules
  • What?! The legislature passed, and Gov. Abbott signed, a bill which now allows Texas "felons convicted of drug" crimes to receive food stamps. You guys gonna put up with that? 
  • I had four different meetings yesterday where I witnessed three people cry in three of them. I won't tell you if the tears were the result of gratitude, sadness, or relief. But I will tell you I have intense, emotional meetings all the time.  I guess that explains why someone seems to ask me every day, "Are you OK?" 
  • Just thought about Dan Fogelberg's Same Old Lang Syne: "But in those eyes I wasn't sure if I saw doubt or gratitude."
  • I've learned that Attorney General Ken Paxton (sheesh) has given an opinion allowing the Montague DA to not disclose certain information to the Wise County Messenger regarding the shooting I mentioned yesterday I'll post the relevant portion of the opinion later. There's something not right. I'll need you Open Records experts out there to provide some guidance. 
  • Get ready for my annual Medical Examiner rant . . . 
  • I've yelled about the "rulings" of medical examiners for years. How about this one yesterday: "The death of an Arlington man [at the hands of jailers] in the Dallas County Jail lobby was a homicide that was compounded by drugs, heart disease and stress, according to the Dallas County medical examiner’s office . . . . He died from homicide with 'combined effects of cocaine and methamphetamine, compounded by hypertensive cardiovascular disease and physiologic stress associated with struggle and restraint,' the medical examiner’s office said." Ummmmkay. 
  • My beef this time is with their definition of "homicide" (and this comes up time and time again). Look at the Harris County ME's site where they define it. They say it includes "a death from . . . an act of another person to cause fear, harm or death" but does not necessarily mean intent to kill. That is a crazy definition. And, if the Dallas ME uses that same standard, do they believe the jailers wanted to cause fear, harm, or death?
  • My normal beef with ME's is that they offer opinions they aren't qualified to offer. They are doctors. If they have a body in front of them, they can give an expert opinion that the cause of death was due to strangulation (his throat was collapsed and he lost the capacity to breath). I'll even let them say the throat collapsed because of an outside force (i.e "something" like a rope). But they can't tell me it was a homicide (caused by another), suicide (hung himself), or accident (i.e. David Carradine). And don't give me this crap about they have "other information". Why do we have cops and crime scene investigators to make that conclusion if the great ME gets to trump them with his "expert" opinion. 
  • Blue Bell . . . AGAIN! . . .