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.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.
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.
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: