Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday Morning Roundup

Here are a few recent Texas criminal justice news stories that caught my attention but I haven't found time to blog about:
Meanwhile, a few more items from outside of Texas also aroused my interest, and I thought I'd share them here:


Anonymous said...

Sorry, I can't feel any empathy for the poor parole officer who was treated so badly. I wonder how many parolees he himself treated badly. I wonder if he knows that prisoners in TDCJ are treated much worse on a daily basis and most often ignored in the courts. At least if Mr. Parole Officer didn't like the treatment he could choose to walk out...which he didn't. However, prisoners have no choice but to be abused on a routine basis with no ability to escape the torture. When one deals with TDCJ, when one knows about the horrible abuse, the lack of medical care, the daily racial and vulgar insults prisoners must endure routinely, and the lack of redress that these prisoners have...well, empathy or sympathy for anyone affiliated with TDCJ is something I am hard pressed to muster. What goes around comes around.

Anonymous said...

Abilene prosecutor withheld exculpatory evidence:

The CCA found that the Abilene prosecutors INTENTIONALLY withheld exculpatory evidence with the specific intent to avoid an acquittal.

Footnote 20 of the majority opinion says:

"20. In West, 451 A.2d at 1235, the Court stated that what "is encompassed by intentional misconduct . . . is not the mere general intent to do the act but, additionally, the special intent to attain some specific end thereby." West provides two situations where retrial after a defense-requested mistrial is jeopardy-barred under Oregon v. Kennedy. See West, 451 A.2d at 1235. The second, more familiar, situation is a mistrial when the prosecution intentionally commits some erroneous act with the specific intent to provoke or goad the defendant into moving for a mistrial to avert a probable acquittal. See id. The first, less familiar, situation is a mistrial when the prosecution attempts not to get caught intentionally committing some erroneous act (e.g., not disclosing evidence) with the specific intent to avoid a probable defeat. See id. The evidence in this case supports this latter situation.Also, recall that the State claimed at the mistrial hearing that there is no evidence that it "did this to goad [the defense] into asking for a mistrial, or that [it] knew that if [the defense] found this out that it would goad them into a mistrial." (Emphasis supplied)."

The misconduct of the prosecutors was so extreme that the CCA felt it met the difficult Oregon v. Kennedy standard for double jeopardy barred reprosecution.

The Taylor County prosecutors (including now Judge Robert Harper) all justified intentionally withholding exculpatory evidence by claiming they didn't know the defendant might call for a mistrial if he found out about the withheld evidence.

Even the dissenting opinions agree the prosecutors were..."wrong, wrong, wrong..." The prosecutors intentionally withheld exculpatory evidence "...not once, not twice, but three times..."

The majority opinion is at:

Click below and search Masonheimer to read the dissenting opinions:

Make sure to read the footnotes on all of these opinions.

When the Taylor County DA's Office has this attitude about withholding Brady evidence, is it possible for anyone get a fair trial in Taylor County?

Is anyone at the TDCAA paying attention?