Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Blog: Four of Ten Worst US Prosecutors are Texans

The Bad Prosecutors blog, a relatively new blog written by two former prosecutors from the Western District of Texas, have put together a Who's Who list of the 10 worst prosecutors in America.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Texans won four of the top ten slots. The Texans so (dis)honored were:
  • Alberto Gonzales (fired US Attorney General)
  • Terry McEachern (Tulia prosecutor)
  • Randall Reynolds (DA who failed to prosecute TYC Pyote case)
  • Charles Sebesta (for failing to disclose exculpatory evidence in the Anthony Graves case)
While Texas led the pack, I couldn't help but think to myself, only four? Looking at the rest, I think we were still underrepresented, so I left a somewhat snarky reply in the comments:
Surely it was an oversight not to include people like Bexar DA Susan Reed, Williamson DA John Bradley, or Harris County DA Chuck Rosenthal. How about Rick Roach, for heavens sake, a hang em high Panhandle DA busted for an intense, long-term meth addiction? I could go on. In fact, except for Nifong, who's a no-brainer, I think otherwise we could have had a Texas sweep. Next year I'll watch closely and earlier for your call for nominations.
What do you think of the Bad Prosecutors list, and can you think of any other Texas prosecutors who should have been nominated?


whitsfoe said...

Hands down, Randall Reynolds is #1.

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Anonymous said...

You're in Austin and you missed Ronnie Earle, political hack for the Democrats?

Another Texan.

Hunter Biederman said...

What.. no Duke LAX prosecutors on the list???

Hunter said...

err.. sorry.. read too fast.

Anonymous said...


Masonheimer speaks
ABILENE -- For the first time, a Trent man is speaking out about his treatment at the hands of Taylor County prosecutors. James Masonheimer was tried twice for the shooting death of a man who was threatening his daughter. Both trials ended in a mistrial. Masonheimer has always contended that the Taylor County DA's office did not prosecute his case fairly. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled Masonheimer can't be tried again for murder. Watch our story…

Abilene Reporter News
URL: http://www.reporter-news.com/abil/nw_local/article/0,1874,ABIL_7959_5434457,00.html
Appeals court nixes retrial for Trent man on murder charge
By Jerry Daniel Reed / reedj@reporternews.com
March 22, 2007
Criticizing prosecutors' handling of evidence considered favorable to the defense, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled on Wednesday that to again try James Masonheimer of Trent on a murder charge would constitute double jeopardy.
But Taylor County District Attorney James Eidson said the 6-3 opinion doesn't necessarily end the case.
''It's obviously a divided court, and it's going to be pursued further,'' Eidson said. The state could petition for a rehearing of the case by Texas' highest criminal court or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, he said.
Two previous court proceedings involving Masonheimer, now in his mid-60s, ended in mistrials - the first in December 2002, a jury trial; and the second in April 2003 a no contest plea heard by a judge. In the latter case, the judge was charged with determining whether the state had presented sufficient evidence to convict the defendant.
Masonheimer was accused of shooting Gilbert Sanchez, 40, of Merkel five times in June 2001. Masonheimer admitted the shooting, but maintained that he killed his daughter's former boyfriend to protect her from a man who had threatened and terrorized her, according to Reporter-News files.
Then-Senior Judge Billy John Edwards ruled in the April 2003 trial that double jeopardy barred the retrial of Masonheimer, but the 11th Court of Appeals in Eastland later reversed that ruling. The Court of Criminal Appeals opinion on Wednesday reversed the Eastland court's decision.
On Wednesday, Judge Barbara Hervey of the criminal appeals court wrote that the two mistrials ''were provoked primarily by the state's failure to disclose exculpatory evidence with the specific intent to avoid an acquittal at the first proceeding.''
Sanchez's possession of a substance alleged to be steroids, and two witnesses' statements were evidence that Masonheimer's lawyers contended prosecutors were late in turning over to the defense. Steroids are sometimes linked with violent and erratic behavior.
Copyright 2007, Abilene Reporter News. All Rights Reserved.

Anonymous said...

I know that it's a little petty, so y'all forgive me but it is so satisfying when you see a bad prosecutor go down in flames like Rick Roach. Just hang in there and eventually God shows up and does his thing.

Doran G. Williams said...

I find the reported response of the State Bar Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel to be appallingly inappropriate. An attorney who misapplies a client's funds can be disbarred. But send people to prison and death row, or participate in illegal torture and war-making, or lie to Congress, and the Bar's OCDC response is "Oh, who really cares all that much?"

Anonymous said...

As a Tulian, I would have been surprised not to see the beloved former DA Terry McEachern on the list. Topped only by Alberto Gonzalez. I know nothing of Gonzales as a prosecutor, but he must have been a doozy to beat out McEachern for #1.
A Friend of Justice

Anonymous said...

So, why is Chuck Rosenthal not on this list? He is the worst in Texas and is up for re-election. If he is re-elected, Harris Co. should be cut off from the State of Texas and set afloat in the Gulf and then they can be their own country, which they already think they are. The Judicial System follows no rules and won't even answer to the Supreme Court! Cut them loose!!

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Anonymous said...

How about the late Tim Curry, who is on record as the Prosecuting attorney in a case that I know if out of Tarrant County. The case was actually prosecuted by Christy Jack who was assistant DA, and now current DA. They recommended the defendant on trial for a sex offense (never had any past criminal record) take the Abel Assessments, the bogus lie detector test in order to test his reaction time to computer generated images. Of course his attorney, a public defender Edwin Youngblood who is now assistant DA recommended it also, saying the defendant would get a lighter sentence or parole if he passed the test. Although this test was not done correctly, it must be given with a questionnaire also, and the test is not qualified at all to determine if a person is a sexual predator, or even if he will re-offend again, they still recommended it. The test according to Dr. Abel's own statistics has a fallibility rate of 37%. The test also does not qualify to be used as scientific evidence according to Texas Code. The man failed the test and received 45 years in TDCJ. The honorable judge Gill labeled the man a sociopath! I wonder how many others have fallen into this trap? Junk science to our rescue! Hah! Concerned Citizen