Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

Still not a bad question.    

  • The judge let Kyle Rittenhouse randomly pick the 12 out of 16 jurors to decide his fate.  Odd? Not according to this judge who claims he's been letting defendants do it for 20 years. However, it looks like most judges in Wisconsin have their court clerk do the drawing.

    • That being said, the way Wisconsin handles alternative jurors is good. In Texas, you will see cases where two or four jurors are qualified as alternative jurors who have to hang around and listen to the evidence. But they know they are alternates and that if the trial gets all the way to the deliberations stage with the first 12 jurors selected still being intact, they'll be sent home.  So knowing they are alternates right from the start might cause them to not pay attention quite as much despite the fact they might be needed.  In Wisconsin, all the jurors have no idea who the alternatives will be until the 12 of 16 drawing takes place at the end of the evidence. 
  • Protestors outside of the courthouse in Wisconsin yesterday:
    "Their love was as forbidden as some books in a library in the South."

  • When you can tell a reporter hasn't attended a typical criminal court docket before:

  • That's a heck of a picture from Lewisville yesterday for there to be no serious injuries

  • If you think that Laura Ingraham "who's-on-first" type of video wasn't preplanned and staged, you are a gullible person. Those two have been doing bits like that for years. Example.

  • Well, that was quick. And oil is at $80.23 this morning.  

  • Nothing to see here: Just the judge and the prosecutors hanging out together and watching a jury deliberate on live video (without sound.)  But now there's a problem. There still has to be a punishment phase because the jury found the defendant guilty on one of the charges. (Ironically, the DA was watching the jurors deciding to find the defendant not guilty on the most serious charges of murder and aggravated assault.)  The judge has now recused himself. 

    • But the DA needs to recuse his office as well.  Just by watching the deliberations, they've learned valuable information that they should not know.  For instance, you could determine from the video who was the leader(s) of the jury panel -- those who are most animated and doing all the talking. So you go back and look at their juror information (and even their social media) and then tailor your punishment phase presentation for him or her. 
  • This feels a lot like right before the Dot Com Bubble burst around 2000. This is a 20 year deal for $700 million

  • Some guy in Fort Worth named John Sellers threw a 40th birthday party for himself. That's normally not newsworthy, but this guy rented the Fort Worth Zoo and hired Pearl Jam to play a private concert for the shindig.  

    • He and his buddy sold their energy company for  $6.4 billion earlier this year. But, wait, there's more. In 2017 they "sold their previous iteration of their company to Parsley Energy, for $2.8 billion, half cash, half stock." Good lord.
    • So is he a "self made man"? I don't know. But this sentence about how he got started from his self-written profile got my attention.  "Cody Campbell was still playing football [while in college], but the two of us built a real-estate development company with one other partner. We raised money through friends and family. We built a subdivision in Lubbock, some hotels, apartment complexes, senior housing."
  • Rolling Stone profiles a couple of Texas Sheriffs. One is from Clay County. (In a related story, Politico had a feature late last year about how Oath Keeper disciples were infiltrating Hood County law enforcement.) 

  • Former SMU coach Bobby Collins has died. He was fired in 1987 and never coached again. In fact, it's almost next to impossible to find out what he has been doing for the last 30+ years. (If you ever get a chance to watch Pony Excess from ESPN's 30 for 30 collection, do it.)

  • Those headlines will get your attention. 

  • A funny comment I read about this new Netflix show is that "Eight strangers are living together in Austin because that's the only way they can afford to live there." 

  • This picture of a lynching in downtown Dallas goes with the "This is a huge Step" headline on the cover of the Dallas Morning News, below. It was actually a postcard!

  • Messenger: Above the Fold