The Campaign For DA


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Amber Guyger:
    • It was outside of the presence of the jury, but the lead Texas Ranger investigating case, David Armstong, said on the witness stand that Guyger did not commit a crime and was reasonable in using self-defense. The judge won't let the jury hear this.
    • WBAP's Hal Jay this morning: "Now which side hired David Armstrong?" Think I was punching my dashboard at that moment? 
    • This trial is so weird because the facts are basically not in dispute. And trials are, by definition, for the jury to decide what the facts are. 
    • A big moment in opening statements that no one seems to be talking about: The defense attorney promised the jury that Amber would testify. From the very beginning of my criminal defense career, I've been in the minority by almost always putting the defendant on the stand at trial. Your chances of winning without doing so are simply not good at all. 
    • The DA's office is on an island in this case. Realize that every law enforcement officer who testifies is by and large not in favor of this prosecution. 
    • Tomorrow I'll try to get you my best guess as to the exact instruction that the jury will be given for "mistake of fact." 
  • Juul, the vaping company, announced yesterday that it will end almost all of U.S. advertising.  That's a huge hit to the print media. (As an example, I ended up with a subscription to Wired over the last year and it would not be unusual to see Juul with three or four full page ads in it. And there wasn't much advertising in that magazine to start with.)  Adweek says they spent $104 million in advertising in the last six months. 
  • For those who use Reliant Energy, are you getting killed with high bills right now? I've got a sample size of three that show they are over-the-top unusual even for the hottest time of the year. 
  • Ukraine-gate:
    • The release of the memo (it's not a transcript) is an Orwellian Test. Do you reject the evidence of your eyes and ears?
    • At least Nixon tried to be discreet.
    • The White House, being the White House, accidentally released to Democrats the "talking points" oh how to address the memo. First and foremost, everyone was to say there was "no quid pro quo." 
    • Trump then quickly regurgitated the talking points which had been quickly regurgitated by Fox News:
    • Direct? I had no idea that the words "quid pro quo" actually had to exist much less literally used in order for there to be a scandal.   I suppose people who throw around Latin might say "quid pro quo" from time to time, but I suspect people from Trump's neck of the woods would say,  "I would like to ask you a favor though" before I commit to anything.
    • Breaking: The Whistleblower complaint was just released.  We've got a Watergate Tapes 2.0 situation.  Literally. 
    • Remember when President Obama wore a tan suit?
  • Is a Texas search warrant valid if the officer admits he did not take an oath and swear that the affidavit to get the warrant was true and correct? Of course not, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals ruled in March. Yesterday, Texas' highest criminal court said it wants to decide the issue. Really? 
  • In another case which seems like a big deal, the court agreed to hear a case involving the propriety of allowing a witness at trial to testify via Facebook Live from Montana. 
  • The government of Texas executed a man last night by lethal injection even though the bailiff in the courtroom had a syringe print on his tie. The Supreme Court denied a stay of execution late yesterday afternoon.  In doing so, Justice Sotomayer said the wearing of the tie was "disturbing" and "deeply troubling" but that it was OK to kill the guy anyway. 
  • I haven't watch Ken Burns' Country Music documentary but over the last few months I've gone back and watched his documentaries on The West (1996) and Prohibition (2011).  They were great. Heck, all of his work is great. But you know who is the unsung hero in every single one of them? Narrator Peter Coyote