Friday, December 31, 2004

Williamson DA bullies lawyer, but backs down

The Austin Chronicle's Jordan Smith has a good piece about Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley's failed attempts to override the confidentiality of attorney work product in a child abuse case. Bradley tried to force a defense lawyer to testify about his work product, in particular a witness statement he'd taken that could exonerate his client. The lawyer stood up to the DA and won.

Williamson County's justice system has a reputation as one of the most ruthless in Texas, both in terms of prosecutorial aggression and issuing extremely long sentences to those convicted. This case gives some insight into how the Williamson DA uses, some would say abuses his power, aiming to secure convictions, even against potentially innocent people, at nearly any cost. If Bradley's office had won the motion, Williamson defense attorneys would have been in a position where they could no longer interview witnesses in their cases without permission from the DA.

Via Tres Chicas