Wednesday, September 12, 2007

TX prosecutors laud dismissal of NBC Dateline's 'Perverted Justice' cases

It took one of their own dying in a tragedy, but quite a few members of the Texas District and County Attorneys' user forum launched defenses of Collin County DA John Roach's decision to dismiss criminal cases based on evidence gathered by NBC's Dateline.

An assistant district attorney from a neighboring county notoriously killed himself when police and cameras showed up at his door. In response, Williamson County DA John Bradley, usually not one to celebrate dismissed cases against alleged child molesters, declared:
Tonight, I watched the Collin County DA on a 20/20 TV espisode, explain why he dismissed some 20 cases against child molesters. He pointed out the weaknesses created by a too-close relationship between local police, a vigilante group (Perverted Justice) and the media (Dateline's "To Catch a Predator"). With remarkable clarity, the DA defined the correct role of law enforcement (to investigate), media (to report) and the district attorney (to make sure the law was followed). If you missed the report, find a way to watch it. I was proud to see a Texas DA stand tall.
For once I agree with Bradley and Co. that the decision to dismiss the cases was a courageous and correct one. Their discussion of the case is well worth reading, and Shannon Edmonds linked on the string to related MSM coverage that I'll post here for interested readers:


Anonymous said...

This is a problem in all of justice, not just sex crimes. Since convictred sex criminals, even juveniles, have to register for ten years after the conclusion of their sentence, care should be taken to insure that all of the evidence is accurate and that the individual brought before the court is convicted "without a shadow of a doubt".

Anonymous said...

The world is a safer place without ADA William Conradt in it. Now his sister wants to sue NBC. She blames them for her brother being a pervert? Roach is a coward for not prosecuting these animals. Maybe more DA's computers need to be searched.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

What would have been cowardly is to succumb to pressure to prosecute corrupted cases. It takes courage to choose justice over public opinion.

Anonymous said...

...and that the individual brought before the court is convicted "without a shadow of a doubt".

This is not the legal standard.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Given all the recent innocence cases, maybe it should be in these high-stakes cases.

Michael said...

What's cowardly is to post anonymously.

Anonymous said...

Here I go being cynical again. Williamson County's DA only agrees that Dateline's catch should not be prosecuted because "his" Police and/or Sheriff didn't catch them.

He is worried that he might be out of a job. His Tough on Crime policies got him where he is and he is not about to let anyone else take credit for what is rightfully his.

He should be worried, not because of Dateline but because he cannot see the value of a Smart on Crime policy.

Anonymous said...

Ok, your name is Michael -------? Makes you anonymous as well.

Anonymous said...

There is no such concept in Texas Jurisprudence as "without a shadow of a doubt". I defy anyone to even attempt to define that term. I have heard that term on TV, where nothing is real.

The correct standard in Texas is "Beyond a reasonable doubt".

John Bradley rocks, usually.

Mr. Cowardly Anonymous.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Well, Michael did give you the link to his blog, which I suppose authorizes you to go make anonymous comments commending suicide over there. God help you, you're a good man, Michael, to assume such a burden.

As far as I know, nobody has suggested Conradt ever molested anyone, unless you have evidence otherwise. He'd chatted online with one of these Perverting Justice people, but didn't show up at the house they'd set up - that's why they had to come to HIS door, cameras in tow. I think it will be very interesting to see how the courts assign liability, if any.

The media shouldn't be doing this. As one prosecutor put it, "Could you imagine trying to use as star witnesses people that create dramatic television for a living, do not go by their own names, and lie according to whatever the producer says....oh, yeah, and will make big money if the show is successful? Even if their stories didn't conflict, they have bias flowing out their ears! That sounds way harder than my usual star witnesses--officers who are better at doing their jobs than at explaining the hows and whys!"

Anonymous said...

You're right Grits, he did.

Michael M. 'Mike' Simpson

Bar Card Number*: 18413400

Work Address 316 W. 12th Street
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Primary Practice Location AUSTIN , Texas

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Primary Practice Areas: Business, Consumer, Criminal, Family, Litigation: Commercial, Litigation: Personal Injury, School Law

Courts of Admittance:
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Anonymous said...

Good for Dateline. Root out the perverts.

Unknown said...

Mr. Anonymous who posted Michael's personal info must be good at follow-up at PJ. Shows that if you criticize Perverted-Justice and Dateline you get exposed only for your opinion.

Thanks for making my case.

CJ Black Widow