Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

  • Amber Guyger:
    • Yep, that was a heck of a moment. I actually had someone call me from the courthouse as it was happening with a "Are you watching this?! Are you crying!? I bet you're crying!"
    • Legend will have it that the moment occurred in front of the jury and before sentencing.  (WBAP's Brian Estridge said this morning that he thought the moment prompted the jury to give the relatively light 10 year sentence.) It didn't. Texas is weird in that we allow for post-sentencing victim impact statements from the witness stand.
    • I've seen my fair share of victim impact statements. Most people, expecting to be nervous, bring a written statement and read it. And almost all are very bitter. Those who have forgiven tend to forego the opportunity altogether.
    • The judge paused before allowing the brother to hug Amber.  You know, that was a tough call. Can you imagine the hell that have broken lose if the brother had actually been putting on a grand charade and suddenly choked Amber out during the hug? That's exactly why the bailiff can be seen standing in close range.  It seemed like a safe gamble to let him hug her, but a gamble nonetheless.
    • I was surprised by the 10 years. I thought the jury was going to crush her after the quick guilty verdict. 
    • She's eligible for parole in 5 years. I would guess in this case she would actually serve 7 to 8 but that's impossible to predict. But no less than 5 years is guaranteed.
    • If the jury would have found her guilty of Manslaughter and given her 10 years, the parole law would be the same. (That's assuming a Deadly Weapon finding which would have certainly occurred.)
    • I'm not sure there will be an appeal. Amber's team needs to have a serious talk with her about the old adage of, "Be careful what you ask for." Does she really want a new trial? You sure it would be better the second time around? (There was a case out of Wise County within the last year or so where the defendant miraculously received probation and he still appealed and sought a new trial. I had no idea what he was thinking. Fortunately for him, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals did him a favor and affirmed his conviction.) 
    • I'm obviously in the minority, but I wasn't a fan of the judge hugging Amber and giving Amber her personal Bible in public.
      • The video feed should have been shut off at that point -- all aspects of the trial were over -- so that seemed a little bit of playing for the camera. And the judge controlled the camera's on/off switch. 
      • A judge should always be impartial and appear that way for matters pending before her. This case isn't over. There will be post-trial motions to rule on. The case could be reversed and tried again. Or that footage could be used in front of the parole board.
      • What's going to happen the next time a defendant elects for the judge to assess punishment? Say he takes the stand and says, "When I saw the judge hand Amber Guyger her Bible that time and point out John 3:16, I looked that verse up at that very moment. I was a changed man from that point forward because I took it to heart. Thank you, judge."
      • Personal thought: Why did the judge think Amber wasn't familiar with the most famous verse in the Bible? That was a weird "Let me show this verse that you might not have heard of" moment. (The very skeptical part of me thinks that anyone who says John 3:16 is their favorite verse is someone who probably can't name any other verse.)
      • Hey, I'd be fine with the judge doing that behind closed doors and we never heard about it. The case is so unusual and so bizarre that it would fit right in.
    • I saw one legal expert say it was a "compromise verdict." Huh? Heck, they are all compromise verdicts. (It reminds me of a buddy who I was golfing with once who heard one of our party say, while on the green, that "This one is a speed putt." He jumped in with a "[Expletive deleted], they are all speed putts!")
    • If the Amber Guyger case hadn't involved a cop and black man, it would have been plea bargained a long time ago (assuming it even got passed the grand jury.)
  • Our favorite Baptist pastor, oozing with Christian Love, is at it again. (Amazingly, even Fox News fired the radio host who agreed with Jeffress when he said it.) I've said it for years: In the long run, Jeffress will single-handedly destroy the First Baptist Church of Dallas.
    I hope The Onion posts a response from Moloch.
  • Count the red flags out of Wichita Falls. And they even left out of the graphic that (1) he is an English teacher at City View ISD, and (2) he crashed the Corvette.
  • And then there's this guy.
  • I don't know if we should be concerned that he can't spell "moat" or that he didn't deny that part of the story where he wanted Border Patrol agents to shoot border-crossers in the legs. 
  • Every person in the right half of this photo from a September 1st meeting in Poland with the president of the Ukraine is probably a tad-bit nervous (except John Bolton.)  Trump has been throwing Pence under the bus lately with a weird He-did-the-same-thing-I-did defense.   Rick Perry might be next. 
  • These are strange days when Trump posts an attack video on Joe Biden accompanied by  a Nickelback song only to have Twitter take it down because of formal copyright complaint. And I think we can all agree on a formal impeachment article based upon him making Photograph get stuck her in our heads.
  • At least four local churches are involved in the "Blessing of the Animals" or "Blessing of the Pets" this week. I think that's a funny bit which I support. (Am I in trouble for calling it a bit?)