Harris County We Have a Brady Problem

For years, Texas and particularly Harris County, has struggled with the concept that prosecutors are to seek justice, not just convictions, and further they are to disclose favorable evidence, mitigating evidence, and even impeachment evidence. You know, the Brady stuff! Well Texas wins loses again and requires the Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm that … Read more

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should – Revisited

One year ago today, I wrote “Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should” to discuss the discretion of prosecutors. Prosecutors can and do choose which offenses and people they will prosecute. It’s a matter of resources. It’s a matter of proof. It’s a matter of discretion. Every case that is prosecuted requires some portion … Read more

More HPD Crime Lab Problems; This Time it’s the Crime Scene Unit

Yes, I said HPD Crime Lab rather than Houston Forensic Science Center. Despite the fancy new name and claimed independence, it’s the same old game. This time the Lab commissioned an audit of its crime scene unit related to officer-involved shootings. The purpose of the audit was to address complaints by the District Attorney’s Office … Read more

Baseball, Apple Pie, and High Speed Police Escorts

Late for Work? Call a Trooper and Get to Work on Time You’ve seen police escorts many times. Sometimes it’s a wide load. Other times maybe a caravan of equipment. Maybe even a funeral procession. We’ve come to expect them from time to time on Texas roadways. But did you know you could hire one … Read more

Prosecutorial Discipline

For decades, discipline for prosecutors was atypical and virtually nonexistent. Times are changing, though, it seems. First, Ken Anderson and Charles Sebesta and now line prosecutors. In a case of first impression for disciplinary actions, Denton County prosecutor William Schultz found out the hard way that Brady has meaning beyond the courts. While the courts … Read more

Age: Is it Just a Number?

A 17-year-old cannot vote, buy cigarettes or alcohol, and cannot serve in the armed forces. Yet, a 17-year-old is an adult for criminal prosecution purposes and can legally have consensual sexual relations. Hell, even a 14-17 year old child can legally engage in consensual sex so long as his partner is not more than three … Read more

Good Deeds

Criminal defense lawyer extraordinaire Mark Bennett has done his fair share of good deeds. As he can tell you, no good deed goes unpunished. A true defender, Mark often comes to the aide and defense of his brethren in and around Harris County. He is head of the HCCLA Strike Force and responds to a “bat signal” … Read more

(il)Legal Copycat

In what Internet universe would a lawyer steal the words and work of another and not expect to be caught or called out? Why would a lawyer post “news” on their website by simply trolling the Internet and stealing others news? And, if a lawyer were going to do so, would they just take the … Read more