Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

A man who was training for an iron man competition. Tony Weathers, died in the Trinity River during a "Mud Run" near downtown Fort Worth. Oddly, they didn't find his body in the river until the next day. 

  •  I've got questions about a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by a deputy in the Denton County Sheriff's Office. (PDF of lawsuit here.)

  • It's becoming very Black Mirror when murders are live-streamed

  • I'll admit I wasn't aware of this money based incentive:  "By state law, 90% of criminal cases in a five-year period must be cleared or the county can face losing as much as $50 million in criminal justice grants from the state. The county's current disposition rate stands at 87%." To meet that mark, Dallas County "must dispose of 556 cases a week to meet the Aug. 1, 2022."  I wonder what they definition of "cleared" is because it could be very easy to meet that goal.

  • So let me get this right: Disney uses its free speech right to come out against Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law, and now the Florida state government wants to punish them by eliminating a favorable taxing district that was created in 1968?  This is the party of limited government? 

  • Junior Miller on The Ticket this morning said it is a crime to witness  someone shooting another person and not report it to the police "although it is only a misdemeanor." That's 100% not true*. You can't tamper with evidence, but it's not a crime to just keep your mouth shut in the United States. And there is no catch-all "obstruction of justice" law in Texas.  I can think of only two exceptions:
    • There is a duty for some people in a child's life to report suspected abuse of that child. See Texas Family Code §291.101
    •  And Texas has a weird law about having a duty to report a "corpse" that you find under circumstances you "reasonably should know that a law enforcement agency is not aware of the existence of". See Texas Penal Code §37.09(d)(2).  As far as I know, no one has ever been prosecuted under that law, and there would seem to be a serious question about it requiring unconstitutionally compelled speech.
    • *Edit: Ok. I'll admit being slightly wrong. There is a statute, which appears in no reported appellate cases, that makes it a crime: (1) if you witness a felony, (2) you believe someone has died or was seriously injured, and (3) you don't immediately report it unless you believe someone else reported it and, even if you don't believe that, you are still off the hook if you believe reporting it would "place" yourself in "danger of suffering serious bodily injury or death." Those exceptions to the third prong pretty much guts the statute since they provide a built in excuse. (And the same constitutional issue of forced speech hasn't been hashed out yet.)  Nevertheless, I'll call that being somewhat wrong. 
  • Someone told me that Johnny Depp was instructed by the judge at the end of the day yesterday that he was not allowed to consult with his own attorney before he resumes his testimony in his defamation case.  I had never heard of that, but apparently that is the law in some jurisdictions and, honestly, it kind of makes some sense to me. 

  • Bill O'Reilly hasn't changed. Video. Do it live! 

  • More headlines about Wise County Congressman Ronny Jackson ties to Oath Keepers yesterday. 

  • Calling someone who disagrees with you a pedophile or a groomer is an old blood-libel fascist trick which has been adopted by QAnon (see Pizzagate) and now frighteningly moving into the mainstream.  This lady was having nothing of it yesterday. It was a 5 minute glorious angry rant. 

  • Random photo I saw yesterday which I think is both funny and a piece of art.

  • Very Legal nerdy stuff: This opinion from yesterday has to have a misstatement in it, right? Link

  • Only 152 games to go.

  • Messenger: Above the Fold