Friday, March 01, 2013

Houston Chronicle: 'Too many troubling moments' on DA training video

The Houston Chronicle's editorial board opined today on the training video from the Harris County DA's office recently posted online by GOP blogger Big Jolly (see here and here, and prior Grits coverage). According to the paper:
Texas is now at the forefront of criminal justice reforms, all without sacrificing a tough-on-crime attitude. But the video of the district attorney's ethics training course, acquired by conservative political blog Big Jolly Politics, portrays an office that mocks this important progress, instead embracing an us vs. them mentality.

The hour-and-a-half video, available on YouTube, contains far too many troubling moments to be dismissed as an out-of-context fluke.

The most striking examples are when Anderson and Rob Kepple, the ethics trainer from the Texas District County Attorneys Association, treat the Innocence Project as if it is their enemy rather than a partner in criminal justice. Kepple even brags about "slamming" the group and defends prosecutors who fought against DNA testing. Kepple also mocks efforts to reduce the often budget-busting expense of our criminal justice system.
Read the rest. Kudos to Big Jolly for exposing the video and making it available for all to see. Clearly he wasn't the only one troubled by what he heard. Houston attorneys Paul Kennedy and Murray Newman have offered diametrically opposed views on the video in question. Newman, a former prosecutor, was a strong supporter of just-elected Harris DA Mike Anderson; Kennedy, who said the session reminded him of a "cult," obviously not so much.


Lee said...

Q: What do TX prosecutors have in common with a black hole?

A: They both suck.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Lee, don't feed the trolls. There's no sense in debating whether prosecutors are good or bad as a class, any more than you can make sweeping generalizations about rednecks, black folks, frat boys or barbers. The only issue here is how one elected official and the DA's association chose to conduct a training. The prosecutors in the audience had no choice to not attend. Don't crap on them for it.

rodsmith said...

I'm with grits here. Not all DA's are bad just as not all cops are.

My only problem with them is when they know a fellow govt worker is a fraud or crook and do nothing!

Anonymous said...

The Innocence project started with the big lie: that OJ Simpson was innocent. They knew that was not true, but didn't care. This moment defined this organization and determined their culture. Is there any evidence that this organization has changed in all these years?

Anonymous said...

12:31:00 After all these years and the enemy is the Innocence Project?
You must really have it bad. There is not a more culturally conservative group in the country than the scientists and forensic investigators on whose body of work the IP rests. If your'er runnin' scared from the them its because you're afraid of taking responsibility for something you should be ashamed of.