It's Friday -- Let's Get Out of Here

Random Friday Morning Thoughts

From the DA's Office to the courts, Denton County has always seemed to be less than ideal place to work. Everyone involved just seems to be a little miserable. And just try being a defense lawyer walking into that environment. 

  • The crazy case of the coach in Wichita Falls committing suicide days after allegations of sexual abuse appeared on social media spilled over into a school board meeting last night. 
    • This headline doesn't do the meeting justice because . . . 

    • . . . the headline should be about how administrators might be getting a little nervous right now.

    • Deputies attended the meeting to keep order (and I just liked the picture.)

  • This was a heck of a story, but Costa Rica would be a great place to try and hide in (at least while it worked.)  Here's the town on Google Maps where she was found. She lived in a hostel there. I would do that.  

  • It appears that Brittney Griner's trial in a Russian courtroom is going on at this very moment. Here's a pic of her arriving for court.  (I did a quick search for that Jimi Hendrix t-shirt but couldn't find it. Edit: A faithful reader did.) 

  • GPS and robotic boats? Think of all things you could smuggle in if you could program a boat to arrive at some remote shoreline in the middle of the night. 

  • And another. There's an ill wind blowing.  

  • Christian Nationalism is full front and center now. 

  • A helicopter? They used a helicopter? Video

  • Nerdy legal stuff: The newly-revamped-for-the-next-generation Supreme Court ignored multiple criminal cases yesterday and, by definition, became more prosecution oriented. Justice Sotomayor was not happy. Link

  • Legal nerdy stuff #2: I just like the way this dissenting opinion in a state criminal case this week started off. It comes out of the Waco court of appeals:

  • USC and UCLA leaving the PAC 12 for the BIG 10 went from rumor to becoming officially confirmed in just a matter of hours yesterday. That was stunning.
    • Here's the map of the new Big 10. (USC and UCLA are way over there on the left.)

    • This is funny.  Flashy LA teams showing up for games in Nebraska and Iowa. 

  • "Shout out to all the women fighting for their rights right now. I love you so much!" Moment ago on Fox and Friends. Video.

  • Keeping up with new stories about criminal cases being solved using ancestry databases coupled with DNA testing is getting harder and harder because there are so many. I saw this one out of Montgomery County, Texas this week. The detective solved the case by just "reading an article" about how easy it was. 

  • Time which has passed since the Wise County Sheriff's Office, despite having a full male DNA profile, has failed to solve the murder of Lauren Whitener in her home at Lake Bridgeport: 1,094 days.
  • Messenger: Above the Fold


Random Thursday Morning Thoughts

Texas Wesleyan's law school in downtown Fort Worth was sold to the Aggies 10 years ago for $25 million.  They tried to sell it to TCU a decade earlier for $60 million.

  •  Late last night, a Tarrant County jury declined to give the death penalty for a man convicted of murdering a police officer.

    • The defendant actually took the witness stand during the punishment phase.  That led to this exchange which, although a little murky, seems like a good way to end up with a death penalty. He got lucky. 

    • It's important to note that he was not the trigger man. 
  • We've got an escapee from the Vernon hospital. He "was acquitted by reason of insanity for stabbing his father to death in Austin in 2013." That's kind of the basis for Halloween's Michael Myers.

  • This has Manhattan abuzz this morning. The Upper East Side is a nice area.


  • "JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A team searching a Mississippi courthouse basement for evidence about the lynching of Black teenager Emmett Till has found the unserved warrant charging a white woman in his 1955 kidnapping, and relatives of the victim want authorities to finally arrest her nearly 70 years later."  

    • Yep, she's actually alive and living in North Carolina.
    • I want to see a copy of the actual warrant, but I've not located it online anywhere.   
    • I don't expect there to be any prosecution.  
  • A brawl on a Carnival Cruise was caught on video. According to Fox News, "An alleged threesome between passengers had upset their significant others when they learned of the rendezvous." Oh, my.Video.

  • Today is the last opinion day at the Supreme Court. Two things: 
    • The first African-American female justice takes the oath today at noon. Yesterday, retiring Justice Breyer gave us a final date and time as to when he would officially leave. 

    • Very legal nerdy stuff: An opinion will come out today in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. There is a possibility that it will be a blockbuster that could all but eliminate the power of federal agencies to issue regulations that actually have any teeth.  That would be earth-shaking, but they've saved the opinion for the last day for a reason. Justice Gorsuch is a madman against the "administrative state", believing that since only Congress has the authority to pass laws as the Legislative branch, any agency, which are all under the Executive branch, shouldn't be doing the same.  If you hear that the "Chevron deference doctrine" has been eliminated after the opinion comes out, it's a very big deal.
  • Video.

  • Rep. Liz Chaney, who should be the hands down winner of Time's Person of the Year this December, received a standing ovation at the Ronald Reagan library -- holy ground for conservatives -- as she spoke of the work on the January 6th Committee. There's hope for our country yet. "The reality that we face today as Republicans, as we think about the choice in front of us, we have to choose because Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the constitution."

  • Ugh. Texas Tribune story.

  • More legal nerdy stuff: The Supreme Court slapped Native Americans in the face yesterday (anyone seeing a trend here?) and Justice Gorsuch, in his dissent, was not pleased.  He cited Worcester v. Georgia from 1832 as a time with the Court was not afraid to tell the U.S. to honor its treaties. That's the case where President Andrew Jackson, later the architect of the Trail of Tears, ignored the Court and purportedly said, "[Chief Justice] John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!" Wikipedia entry about that case.

  • I'm into season three of Succession.  I think it's fantastic. 


Random Wednesday Morning Thoughts

In one of the wildest courtroom scenes ever, an "American financier, lawyer, ex-Wall Street trader, and millionaire", seconds after being convicted of arson by an Arizona jury, took a cyanide pill and died. Wikipedia. Video

  • The January 6th Hearing yesterday was riveting.  I love this woman. A brave 25 year old woman, willing to speak up, amongst a bunch of cowardly men.

    • Trump knew, but didn't care, that the crowd was armed and ordered them to the Capitol anyway.  "I don't f------ care that they have weapons, " Trump said. "They are not here to hurt me." 

    • The news of Trump going bonkers in the limo or throwing plates of food got all the headlines, but that's a non-issue in the grand scheme of things. And does that conduct surprise anyone?
    • If anyone wants to dispute what she says, they are welcomed by the committee to come in and say it under oath.  
    • She was basically like Donna Moss right out of the West Wing. She had a front seat to everything (but with even more access than Donna.)

    • Full transcript. Full video.
  • Borderline QAnon-member Ginni Thomas told us on June 17th that "I can’t wait to clear up misconceptions. I look forward to talking to them." That is, she couldn't wait to testify before the January 6th Committee about her roll, or lack thereof, in the attempted coup. Yesterday, she lawyered up.  Full letter from her lawyer.

  • This is a crazy story out of Wichita Falls. A coach wins an award for taking his basketball team to the state semi-finals and, when congratulatory post start appearing on Facebook, allegations from women start appearing in the comments.  He commits suicide days later. (City View ISD is 3A and located on the western edge of the Wichita Falls.)

  • "Larry" sending a lewd picture to everyone in an airplane cabin and then admitting to it on video is something you don't see every day. Story.

  • Gov. Abbott's different responses to dead immigrants:
    • Then:

    • Now:

  • This city of Denton is an interesting oasis in the middle of MAGA-land.

  • A recusal of a judge is pretty unusual but it happened in Fort Worth yesterday. In the hearing last week to remove the judge, the defense called six defense lawyers as witnesses, including Don Carter, Mark Daniel, and Rose Anna Salinas.

    • I like this lede by the Star-Telegram:

  • Some day everyone will listen to me after my years of ranting about how Mark Cuban is an inept owner and a horrible businessman. (And just wait until Luka hits free agency in 2028  -- and they only get to hang on to him that long because of a labor contract which is pure anti-capitalism.)

  • The Browns' Deshaun Watson administrative hearing with the NFL continues today.  I think this is an interesting take: 

  • Messenger: Above the Fold