Tuesday, November 15, 2011

John Bradley's Willie Horton?

The blog Wilco Watchdog goes for the jugular vs. District Attorney John Bradley and District Judge Ken Anderson, attacking their "tuff on crime" credentials head on by exploring a plea deal they cut with an alleged child molester - from a 3rd degree felony to a Class A misdemeanor -  who later showed up on NBC Dateline's "To Catch a Predator" series:
Thanks to the reduced charges, the defendant spent 97 days in jail for the misdemeaor then went on his merry way until Dateline caught up to him. Wrote the Watchdog, "It is one thing to just be sloppy or have temporary lapses in judgment, but it is quite another thing to turn a child predator loose with a slap on the wrist, freeing him to act again." That's a rough and tumble attack, but it's also the kind of thing John Bradley slings at others all the time in the press without giving it a second thought: Live by "gotcha" politics and you may well die by it.

In a past life, Grits was a professional opposition researcher for around 13-14 years, working in a total of roughly 68 campaigns, and I can't recall a candidate with as much negative research handed to the opposition on a platter before you even get started digging. Offhand:

1. Delaying the Todd Willingham investigation at the Forensic Science Commission, leading to a refusal by the Republican-controlled Texas Senate to confirm his nomination (lots of negative quotes about his performance just a Google search away).
2. The Michael Morton fiasco: Opposing DNA testing and disclosure of exculpatory evidence withheld from the defense. Dismissive comments about Morton to the press while he was in prison.
3. Cynical attitude toward innocence and DNA testing.
4. Tried to water down Texas' much-praised probation reforms.
5. Behaves like a bully.
6. The UnCatch a Predator angle, which includes footage that would make a devastating TV commercial.

These are messages that, combined with a general anti-incumbent sentiment among voters, create plenty of fodder for attacks against John Bradley in the electoral arena. And those are just the easy ones. A full-blown opposition research effort would inevitably discover more given how long he's been in office. You'd want to poll them to see which ones resonated most with the public, but any one could be devastating. Collectively they could wipe the incumbent off the electoral map if he faces opposition with enough money to deliver those messages to the voters. Bradley already has drawn a Democratic opponent in 2012, but anyone with a D by their name is at best a longshot in Williamson County. However, rumors are swirling that Bradley may face an opponent in the GOP primary, which would be an even greater threat.

UPDATE: For another, similar tale from the Wilco Watchdog, see also "To Uncatch a Predator: Another predator, another catch and release." In that sordid tale, a local law enforcement official was allegedly given a relatively light sentence when accused of fondling his underage step daughter.


A Texas PO said...

Pleaing down sex offenses happens much more often than most people realize. In this case, it shows just how dangerous doing so can be. Sure, not all offenders charged with sex offenses are predators, but predators are out there. Sounds like Bradley and Anderson didn't do their homework on this case before cutting the deal (that, or this guy's got some incriminating photos of somebody). Maybe Nancy Grace needs to refocus her hatred of Casey Anthony and redirect that energy towards John Bradley.

Anonymous said...

All of this being said, bradley will be the first to send a teenager to prison for having sex with a teen girlfriend. (Jean Ponzanelli) spelling?
Looks to me like bradley tends to bully people that are not able to fight back. WHAT A JOKE HE IS TO JUSTICE. I pray that the people of Williamson county will wake up and VOTE HIM OUT!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I just don’t understand how the ruling wasp party in Texas with the tough on crime stance can be OK with pedophilia. It must be a circle of trust, Bradley covers up for his good buddies, like Rick Perry with the arson investigation in the Willingham case. Perry and his good buddies seem ok with state sponsored pedophilia with regards to the youth prison. And then there is the hypocrisy when people from other religions do the same thing like in the great polygamist roundup, or with kids like Romeo and Juliet’s.
If this were Pennsylvania these judicial ass clowns would have been tarred and feathered before they could have gotten a trial. What is it about these Texas religious fanatics that seem perfectly OK with children being molested? How is it that Texans who have some morals vote these protectors of pedophiles into office? I guess the people of Williamson county Texas are ok with this judge and da letting real killers kill again and child predators roam the streets.

doran said...

Texas PO is correct about the frequency with which sex offenses are pleaded down. The explanation for those plea bargains may involve some sort of venality on the part of prosecutors, but not always and probably not most of the time.

Some of the reasons for the State to reduce the charge include problems with the case which make a conviction hard to achieve and therefore hard to sustain on appeal. Such as, problems arising out the initial arrest and interrogation by law enforcement, and problems with one or more prosecution witnesses. The latter may involve a minor who is not credible/believable, or a minor who refuses to testify, or a defense attorney who promises to make a cross examination of the minor which will hurt, hurt, hurt.

I think this issue in the case treated by Dateline might be clarified by an interview with that alleged predator's defense attorney.

Anonymous said...

The young lady, Jana Duty, has been courageous in exposing the corruption of the Commissioner's Court in Williamson County and would be the perfect candidate to challenge the demagogue John Bradley in Williamson County. She has proven capable of the integrity to stand up to her own party's one-sided dominion in the county. I would think and have heard that the people are with her and I think that makes her the obvious choice to unseat John Bradley

Anonymous said...

A ton of people are hearing the same thing and are willing to back Duty if she runs against Bradley. I don't even practice in Williamson County but would donate to her campaign if she runs.

RSO wife said...

They sure don't plea them down in Harris Co, not even when the accused is a white male over 65 who had no physical contact with anyone, underage or otherwise.

When the Feds say it's not worth bothering about, Harris Co will take up the challenge even if it takes them a year to get around to it. And when it's an election year, they get all the convictions they can to make their record look good.

Ted said...

John Bradley is, after all is said and done, a formidable prosecutor, and a master at assisting citizens accused of a crime in handing him the accoutrements(sp?) with which to crush them- for any other attorneys, find out- from TDCAA website- when he gives his CLE on Confessions and go- I did- it is absolutely terrifying- for anyone else, google the following- "why you should never talk to the police without an attorney" - it is a you tube video, lasts around 30 minutes- as for the comments about him being a bully,- well, yeah!!!!!! he has a clone in New Braunfels named Sammy McCrary- tough smart, and absolutely heartless- as for Bradley's boy, Anderson, I guess all of the biology books I've read are wrong - it must be possible to grow one testicle ex utero