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(My San Antonio)   If you're a prosecutor in Texas, and you hide DNA evidence to convict an innocent man of murdering his wife allowing the actual murderer to go free, then we'll promote you to Judge   (mysanantonio.com) divider line 139
    More: Asinine, justices, DNA evidence, Texas, DNA  
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11340 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Feb 2013 at 12:28 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-16 09:24:24 AM
it is about time this a**hole gets his.

he has been screwing people since the 70's
 
NFA [TotalFark]
2013-02-16 09:28:43 AM
Is there anything Texas CAN'T f*ck up?
 
2013-02-16 09:29:29 AM
I think this kind of thing isn't limited to Texas.
 
2013-02-16 09:31:40 AM
It's all about the convictions

/justice gonna get raped
 
2013-02-16 09:32:12 AM
Its a shame that one cannot get the chair for ruining lives like this.

Why is this farker not behind bars yet?
 
2013-02-16 09:32:31 AM
FTFA: "I think we saw someone who is still struggling with denial and anger, a man who has spent at least three decades in power who for the first time is having to answer for his actions."

I think the damage he has done over his entire career will be hard to quantify.  So lets go ahead and give him the death penalty.  Make an example of him like he has done so many times in the past.
 
2013-02-16 09:32:55 AM

NFA: Is there anything Texas CAN'T f*ck up?


Steak

There aint nothing better than a nice Texas Steak
 
2013-02-16 09:39:02 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: It's all about the convictions


Yep, the more notches you get on your belt, the better chance you have of being elected to public office. And God forbid if you're an innocent person and you happen to get in their way when they need to show the public just how tough on crime they are.
 
2013-02-16 09:54:57 AM
I think Penn and Teller said it best.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YXEcvXARM8
 
2013-02-16 10:00:41 AM
Prosecutors are the most evil people people I've had the non-pleasure of being around.
 
2013-02-16 10:07:13 AM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: It's all about the convictions


Especially in TFA:  Williamson County
 
2013-02-16 10:07:50 AM

PreMortem: Prosecutors are the most evil people people I've had the non-pleasure of being around.


goregirl.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-02-16 10:23:41 AM
looks like people didn't actually rtfa
 
2013-02-16 10:31:46 AM

tenpoundsofcheese: looks like people didn't actually rtfa




How so?
 
2013-02-16 10:44:08 AM

tenpoundsofcheese: looks like people didn't actually rtfa I'm trolling again.


Yup, it does.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-02-16 11:14:32 AM
Why is this farker not behind bars yet?

The statute of limitations for perjury in Texas is two or three years. I doubt contempt of court would have a decades long limitations period.

I think this kind of thing isn't limited to Texas.

In Massachusetts we had the Fells Acres day care hysteria. Prosecutors just couldn't let go after the conviction was called into question.
 
2013-02-16 11:19:38 AM

tenpoundsofcheese: looks like people didn't actually rtfa


We didn't?  Please proceed.

/this should be fun
 
2013-02-16 11:32:54 AM

clancifer: tenpoundsofcheese: looks like people didn't actually rtfa

We didn't?  Please proceed.

/this should be fun


Look, if we let innocent people out of jail for crimes they didn't commit, we're just telling the criminals that they can do whatever they want.  THIS IS ALL OBAMA'S FAULT.  HE'S PUTTING US IN CAMPS.

/in case tpoc doesn't back, I decided to paraphrase the derp
 
2013-02-16 12:30:22 PM
Ken Anderson, now a Williamson County district judge, testified repeatedly during a rare court of inquiry that he had little memory of the trial or the case


Of course he doesn't.
 
2013-02-16 12:38:14 PM
Monsters are real. And the monsters are us.
 
2013-02-16 12:39:25 PM

PreMortem: Prosecutors are the most evil people people I've had the non-pleasure of being around.


Followed closely by defense attorneys. Then lawyers in general.
 
2013-02-16 12:43:33 PM
As long as we have an adversarial system, prosecutors should be able to serve for only a few years, and prevented from holding any other office once they're done. They can go back to hanging a shingle out, but can't use their "record" in advertising, etc.
 
2013-02-16 12:43:47 PM
www.jgrisham.com

Best non-fiction book I have ever read.
 
2013-02-16 12:46:04 PM
Yeah, pretty clearly just another case of prosecutorial misconduct, and a serious one. If this guy really wasn't aware that he was 'making mistakes', he's not merely incompetent as an attorney but inescapably not a competent adult. He shouldn't have a driver's license, much less hold a public office.
 
2013-02-16 12:46:11 PM
Hmmm, Texas?  *checks article*  Ayyyyyup, Texas.
 
2013-02-16 12:46:28 PM
Prosecutors are some of the biggest scumbags this country has ever created.
 
2013-02-16 12:48:24 PM

Jekylman: Hmmm, Texas?  *checks article*  Ayyyyyup, Texas.


Or just read the 6th word in the headline.
 
2013-02-16 12:48:51 PM
Prosecutorial immunity is hardly ever stripped.  Wonder if this guy will get to use it at the end of this inquiry.
 
2013-02-16 12:49:15 PM
What's a five-letter word for "God"?
 
2013-02-16 12:51:30 PM
Zimbabwe needs judges.
 
2013-02-16 12:53:22 PM
So the man spent 25 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. He had free room-and-board, free meals and access to a gym, TV and a library. What's the problem?
 
2013-02-16 12:54:13 PM

MFAWG: Ken Anderson, now a Williamson County district judge, testified repeatedly during a rare court of inquiry that he had little memory of the trial or the case


Of course he doesn't.


Give him a break. Acts of obstruction tend to blend together after a few years.
 
2013-02-16 12:55:46 PM

Rapmaster2000: I think this kind of thing isn't limited to Texas.


No, but Texas has it honed to a very precise art.
 
2013-02-16 12:56:13 PM
So THAT'S how you get to be a judge!
 
2013-02-16 12:56:18 PM

tenpoundsofcheese: looks like people didn't actually rtfa


Chickenshiat biatch says what?
 
2013-02-16 12:56:39 PM
Reminds me of a story (from PA I think) I saw here a couple years ago.  Judge was found to be getting kickbacks from a private prison when he sentenced people to prison terms.  Even after it came to light that the judge was getting paid to find people guilty there were prosecutors that didn't want new trials granted for the people they convicted with that judge presiding over the case.  One of them even said that it would ruin his track record and hurt his career during an interview, which had to be one of the most sociopathic things I've ever heard in my life.  Yeah, cuz what happened to all those other people didn't hurt their track records or hurt their careers at all; it's all about you and your ambitions, douchebag.

I also remember one of the prosecutors saying that if it was a trial by jury, then it shouldn't matter if the judge was getting kickbacks, because it was the jury that brought down the verdict.  Yeah, cuz the judge has no impact on things like what evidence can be shown, what lines of questioning are allowed, and certainly doesn't give instructions to the jury.  The fact that a practicing attorney could say that and not be disbarred was beyond me.
 
2013-02-16 12:57:40 PM

DubyaHater: So the man spent 25 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. He had free room-and-board, free meals and access to a gym, TV and a library. What's the problem?


This.  I mean, his wife is dead.  What the hell else is he going to do with his time?
 
2013-02-16 12:57:55 PM

DubyaHater: So the man spent 25 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. He had free room-and-board, free meals and access to a gym, TV and a library. What's the problem?


0/10
 
2013-02-16 12:57:57 PM
If I read the article correctly, he didn't cover up DNA, he covered up exculpatory evidence that there was a different man seen in the area at the time.

He ought to be convicted just for that scuba-gear-as-disguise theory. What's good here is that he's actually being tried on his crap. The prosecutors in the 1980s satanic cult child abuse hysteria, like the McMartin case, should have gotten the same. But I bet if he's convicted he'll get some slap on the wrist such as one day of jail time, like that execrable piece of human garbage, Mike Nifong.
 
2013-02-16 01:00:48 PM

MFAWG: Ken Anderson, now a Williamson County district judge, testified repeatedly during a rare court of inquiry that he had little memory of the trial or the case


Of course he doesn't.


It only made his career, and he has recounted it as one of the seminal moments... and he's previously defended his handling of it.  But it's easy to just "forget" these things when you need to.
 
2013-02-16 01:00:55 PM

ZAZ: Why is this farker not behind bars yet?

The statute of limitations for perjury in Texas is two or three years. I doubt contempt of court would have a decades long limitations period.

I think this kind of thing isn't limited to Texas.

In Massachusetts we had the Fells Acres day care hysteria. Prosecutors just couldn't let go after the conviction was called into question.


This is BEYOND perjury.
 
2013-02-16 01:01:05 PM

Don't Troll Me Bro!: Reminds me of a story (from PA I think) I saw here a couple years ago.  Judge was found to be getting kickbacks from a private prison when he sentenced people to prison terms.  Even after it came to light that the judge was getting paid to find people guilty there were prosecutors that didn't want new trials granted for the people they convicted with that judge presiding over the case.  One of them even said that it would ruin his track record and hurt his career during an interview, which had to be one of the most sociopathic things I've ever heard in my life.  Yeah, cuz what happened to all those other people didn't hurt their track records or hurt their careers at all; it's all about you and your ambitions, douchebag.

I also remember one of the prosecutors saying that if it was a trial by jury, then it shouldn't matter if the judge was getting kickbacks, because it was the jury that brought down the verdict.  Yeah, cuz the judge has no impact on things like what evidence can be shown, what lines of questioning are allowed, and certainly doesn't give instructions to the jury.  The fact that a practicing attorney could say that and not be disbarred was beyond me.


The case you're remembering is worse than that.

If it's the case I'm thinking of, it was a  *juvie court*. He was sentencing CHILDREN to prison terms in a juvie facility in exchange for kickbacks. He wasn't just ruining the lives of adults, he was destroying families and imprisoning kids *during formative years*.
 
2013-02-16 01:06:42 PM

ZAZ: Why is this farker not behind bars yet?

The statute of limitations for perjury in Texas is two or three years. I doubt contempt of court would have a decades long limitations period.

I think this kind of thing isn't limited to Texas.

In Massachusetts we had the Fells Acres day care hysteria. Prosecutors just couldn't let go after the conviction was called into question.


Still the prosecutor's actions lead to the murder of a woman a year later.

Should he be tried for murder? No. But he is at least an accessory to the crime.
 
2013-02-16 01:07:47 PM
Their job is to get convictions. Once the trial started, should he jeopardize his conviction record just because the guy probably didn't do it? Anyways, he was probably guilty of something, right?

That's some rootin tootin prosecutin right thar!
 
2013-02-16 01:08:40 PM
Texas is big on frying people for this type of thing. How the hell did he escape that?
 
2013-02-16 01:08:42 PM

Champion of the Sun: Prosecutorial immunity is hardly ever stripped.  Wonder if this guy will get to use it at the end of this inquiry.


Immunitiy is invoked to get shiat dismissed before the trial stage.  If he's already at the trial stage, I think that means immunity doesn't apply. I don't think it can be asserted as a defense once you are in trial, only as a claim to get a summary judgment or dismissal in your favor.  Also, immunity generally only applies so long as your are actin in accordance with established laws or agency rules, not acting in direct contravention of them, such as what is alleged in this case, inentional conealment of exculpatory evidence.

It'll be very interesting to see how this plays out as all of the facts and details come to light.

/IANAL, YMMV
 
2013-02-16 01:17:54 PM
This guy's story literally  brought me to tears when I read the full account of it (in Salon, I think).  I hope he, his wife, his son, their entire family, and those of the other women the actual culprit killed, get the justice they deserve.
 
2013-02-16 01:18:19 PM
That's pretty farked up. 25 years in jail for something you didn't do, not to mention that someone killed your wife, and you have not only lost her, but your son as well, and a good chunk of your life. I'm not saying this guy railroaded the suspect, or hid evidence on purpose, but it looks pretty fishy, and if he was aware of the testimony of the kid, he should have shared it with the defense. Either way, this poor guy got farked nineteen ways to sunday and got seconds. At least he has some life back, and hopefully a good payout.
 
2013-02-16 01:22:43 PM

Felgraf: Don't Troll Me Bro!: Reminds me of a story (from PA I think) I saw here a couple years ago.  Judge was found to be getting kickbacks from a private prison when he sentenced people to prison terms.  Even after it came to light that the judge was getting paid to find people guilty there were prosecutors that didn't want new trials granted for the people they convicted with that judge presiding over the case.  One of them even said that it would ruin his track record and hurt his career during an interview, which had to be one of the most sociopathic things I've ever heard in my life.  Yeah, cuz what happened to all those other people didn't hurt their track records or hurt their careers at all; it's all about you and your ambitions, douchebag.

I also remember one of the prosecutors saying that if it was a trial by jury, then it shouldn't matter if the judge was getting kickbacks, because it was the jury that brought down the verdict.  Yeah, cuz the judge has no impact on things like what evidence can be shown, what lines of questioning are allowed, and certainly doesn't give instructions to the jury.  The fact that a practicing attorney could say that and not be disbarred was beyond me.

The case you're remembering is worse than that.

If it's the case I'm thinking of, it was a  *juvie court*. He was sentencing CHILDREN to prison terms in a juvie facility in exchange for kickbacks. He wasn't just ruining the lives of adults, he was destroying families and imprisoning kids *during formative years*.


This was it I believe. Simply disgusting

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal
 
2013-02-16 01:28:28 PM

MaudlinMutantMollusk: It's all about the convictions

/justice gonna get raped


Yeah we get similar kinds of shenanigans up here in northern Maine, too.  Like, denying access to lawyers when you *supposedly* assaulted somebody.  Fortunately, the kid eventually had the charges dropped.
 
2013-02-16 01:29:16 PM
Dude must be trying to land a job in Kalifornia.
 
2013-02-16 01:30:16 PM
And THIS is why I'm fine with people being able to appeal their case. Multiple times, even. It's either incompetence, corruption, or just plain bad luck, but there are people all of the time getting wrongly convicted, and it sucks...

Also, FTFA:
But before killing her, he put on his scuba diving wet suit to disguise himself from his son.

What The Fark? The jury bit on this bullshiat?
 
2013-02-16 01:31:11 PM

PreMortem: Prosecutors are the most evil people people I've had the non-pleasure of being around.


And in law school you can tell who is going to gravitate to the States Attorney's Office.  They are middling students, out shined by their peers, spectacular only in their ability to fill out the back of the large classroom. And after no law review or moot court having no chance of getting an offer from any firm they become even more bitter, angry and racist than they were before their 1st Crim Pro 1 class.

You know what made most of the guys in high school who became cops different from you?  It's the same in law school.  The dumb and mean become prosecutors
 
2013-02-16 01:35:39 PM

great_tigers: Jekylman: Hmmm, Texas?  *checks article*  Ayyyyyup, Texas.

Or just read the 6th word in the headline.


Why would I read the headline?
 
2013-02-16 01:36:57 PM
gawd that douchebag should not have been allowed any where near the bench,  sadly in Texas  his behavior seems to be condoned until the state is forced to deal with irrefutable evidence of wrong doing.
 
2013-02-16 01:39:27 PM

Mikey1969: And THIS is why I'm fine with people being able to appeal their case. Multiple times, even. It's either incompetence, corruption, or just plain bad luck, but there are people all of the time getting wrongly convicted, and it sucks...

Also, FTFA:
But before killing her, he put on his scuba diving wet suit to disguise himself from his son.

What The Fark? The jury bit on this bullshiat?


That was an episode of CSI I think, scuba suit and all.

But totally agree, the system is so corrupted, you should be able to appeal as many times as needed.

The sad flip side to that though, is the ones who are actually guilty would abuse the feature like crazy.
 
2013-02-16 01:45:09 PM

Don't Troll Me Bro!: Reminds me of a story (from PA I think) I saw here a couple years ago.  Judge was found to be getting kickbacks from a private prison when he sentenced people to prison terms.  Even after it came to light that the judge was getting paid to find people guilty there were prosecutors that didn't want new trials granted for the people they convicted with that judge presiding over the case.  One of them even said that it would ruin his track record and hurt his career during an interview, which had to be one of the most sociopathic things I've ever heard in my life.  Yeah, cuz what happened to all those other people didn't hurt their track records or hurt their careers at all; it's all about you and your ambitions, douchebag.

I also remember one of the prosecutors saying that if it was a trial by jury, then it shouldn't matter if the judge was getting kickbacks, because it was the jury that brought down the verdict.  Yeah, cuz the judge has no impact on things like what evidence can be shown, what lines of questioning are allowed, and certainly doesn't give instructions to the jury.  The fact that a practicing attorney could say that and not be disbarred was beyond me.


And if those evidentiary rulings were wrong, they'd likely have pretrial motions to appeal. So no. You're largely off base.
 
2013-02-16 01:47:20 PM
In Texas the prosecution is not required to disclose the police report, statements collected by the police, etc.

That seems to be the biggest problem here.

The Supreme Court's Brady decision would mandate disclosure of 'exculpatory' evidence, but as we see in this article, it's hard to enforce because the defense has to know it's exculpatory in order to make a motion for its disclosure.

The real problem here isn't the prosecutor, as convenient of a scapegoat as he is. The problem is that the system isn't set up for justice as the end value, it's been twisted into this notion of equalized fairness for the prosecution, which is utter nonsense. The entire DA file should be disclosed to the defense. That means less convictions, but that's more just than a system predicated on the equality of both sides where rampant injustice exists.

As well, conviction rates should be seen as some reflection of the inherent injustice of the system. In the federal courts the conviction rate is 93%. Many state courts are similar. There's been too much of a swing to the state in criminal defense jurisprudence. For example, your effective fourth amendment rights in the past 40 years has gone from something that was incredibly complex, to what is now an afterthought. These are pretty radical changes.

And they're not 'republican' or 'democrat' or any specific labels. It's not a directly partisan issue, so don't try to reduce it to that. The relationship of the citizen to the state is becoming very twisted and disordered. Injustices like this will only continue, because the way the system is evolving encourages more like it.
 
2013-02-16 01:47:45 PM

FarkinHostile: PreMortem: Prosecutors are the most evil people people I've had the non-pleasure of being around.

Followed closely by defense attorneys. Then lawyers in general.


cdn2-b.examiner.com
 
2013-02-16 01:53:47 PM
also it's worth stating that most people who complain about these things have zero idea how their local DA's office is run.

Your DA is usually elected. If you dislike the way they prosecute people, run against them. Write articles opposing them. Recruit others to run against them.

As well, the DA budgets are usually set by county commissioners. These people are also elected. Run against them, write articles opposing them, recruit others to run against them.

There are pressure points that can affect the system in positive ways if good people get involved.
 
2013-02-16 01:57:23 PM

quiet_american: also it's worth stating that most people who complain about these things have zero idea how their local DA's office is run.

Your DA is usually elected. If you dislike the way they prosecute people, run against them. Write articles opposing them. Recruit others to run against them.

As well, the DA budgets are usually set by county commissioners. These people are also elected. Run against them, write articles opposing them, recruit others to run against them.

There are pressure points that can affect the system in positive ways if good people get involved.


as long as you aren't "found" to have committed some offense, or disappear, or commit suicide in your cell.
 
2013-02-16 01:59:41 PM

HindiDiscoMonster: FarkinHostile: PreMortem: Prosecutors are the most evil people people I've had the non-pleasure of being around.

Followed closely by defense attorneys. Then lawyers in general.

[cdn2-b.examiner.com image 420x250]



People love hating on defense attorneys, but let's look at what that person gets to do: make arguments.

I realize I should just let the jokes slide, but it's really a negative social development that we act like defense attorneys are scum.

These people take someone accused of something and are the only person who gets to advocate on their behalf. Judges are usually former prosecutors. The state has these enormous resources at their disposal. There's this enormous overwhelming system suffocating a defendant, and whats a defense attorney, what role do they have? Making appeals to the judge, making arguments on their behalf, pointing out logic and fairness and common sense.

Only because we have this law-and-order bullshiat presumption that we can divine like medieval kings guilt and innocence do we hate defense attorneys. Because you can never truly know what happened, they're the most important piece of the system that prevents it from being merely a pipeline to prison, which it already is in many places.
 
2013-02-16 02:05:54 PM

quiet_american: HindiDiscoMonster: FarkinHostile: PreMortem: Prosecutors are the most evil people people I've had the non-pleasure of being around.

Followed closely by defense attorneys. Then lawyers in general.

[cdn2-b.examiner.com image 420x250]


People love hating on defense attorneys, but let's look at what that person gets to do: make arguments.

I realize I should just let the jokes slide, but it's really a negative social development that we act like defense attorneys are scum.

These people take someone accused of something and are the only person who gets to advocate on their behalf. Judges are usually former prosecutors. The state has these enormous resources at their disposal. There's this enormous overwhelming system suffocating a defendant, and whats a defense attorney, what role do they have? Making appeals to the judge, making arguments on their behalf, pointing out logic and fairness and common sense.

Only because we have this law-and-order bullshiat presumption that we can divine like medieval kings guilt and innocence do we hate defense attorneys. Because you can never truly know what happened, they're the most important piece of the system that prevents it from being merely a pipeline to prison, which it already is in many places.


yes... i absolutely agree... you should let the jokes slide.
 
2013-02-16 02:06:16 PM

Don't Troll Me Bro!: Reminds me of a story (from PA I think) I saw here a couple years ago.  Judge was found to be getting kickbacks from a private prison when he sentenced people to prison terms.  Even after it came to light that the judge was getting paid to find people guilty there were prosecutors that didn't want new trials granted for the people they convicted with that judge presiding over the case.  One of them even said that it would ruin his track record and hurt his career during an interview, which had to be one of the most sociopathic things I've ever heard in my life.  Yeah, cuz what happened to all those other people didn't hurt their track records or hurt their careers at all; it's all about you and your ambitions, douchebag.

I also remember one of the prosecutors saying that if it was a trial by jury, then it shouldn't matter if the judge was getting kickbacks, because it was the jury that brought down the verdict.  Yeah, cuz the judge has no impact on things like what evidence can be shown, what lines of questioning are allowed, and certainly doesn't give instructions to the jury.  The fact that a practicing attorney could say that and not be disbarred was beyond me.


There were two judges, and they were sentencing children to juvie.  One of the scumbags is still protesting his innocence.
 
2013-02-16 02:11:00 PM
Ah, good ole Williamson county.  Home to god fearin' white folks and good clean country livin' as opposed to the heathens just south in Austin.

When you elect law and order nazis to positions of power for decades, you can't  then act surprised when law and order nazis do what they do.
 
2013-02-16 02:11:07 PM

Jekylman: great_tigers: Jekylman: Hmmm, Texas?  *checks article*  Ayyyyyup, Texas.

Or just read the 6th word in the headline.

Why would I read the headline?


All good, at least you read the article. Most farkers don't it seems
 
2013-02-16 02:14:28 PM

Rapmaster2000: I think this kind of thing isn't limited to Texas.


There's not a DA in the country that has ever been elected on respecting the rights of the accused and conscientiously balancing Americans' desire for security with liberty. They all get elected by promising to be tougher on crime than the other guy.
 
2013-02-16 02:14:42 PM
I don't recall [that]

/proven to work every time
 
2013-02-16 02:16:41 PM

ZAZ: The statute of limitations for perjury in Texas is two or three years. I doubt contempt of court would have a decades long limitations period.


I read an in-depth version of this story and it was argued before the court of inquiry that the cover-up was ongoing and therefore was a recent crime.
 
2013-02-16 02:17:31 PM

cman: Its a shame that one cannot get the chair for ruining lives like this.

Why is this farker not behind bars yet?


Our system of justice DEPENDS on a robust and vigorous prosecution as well as defense.  Imposing severe penalties for being wrong would cripple our justice system, and most of the time lives are ruined by being wrong, not by being malicious and underhanded.  Imposing severe penalties for being malicious and underhanded would have the same effect, because prosecutors would fear being accused of being malicious when they had simply been mistaken.

So, just like we have a system of justice that occasionally lets murderers go free as a result of requirements for proof designed to protect the innocent, we have a system that lacks severe punishments for prosecutors in order to preserve the system of justice.

He may deserve jail time (I don't think the chair, but you're welcome to your opinion), but it ain't gonna happen.  I do hope he gets disbarred and the living shiat sued out of him.
 
2013-02-16 02:20:05 PM

NIXON YOU DOLT!!!!!: Immunitiy is invoked to get shiat dismissed before the trial stage. If he's already at the trial stage, I think that means immunity doesn't apply. I don't think it can be asserted as a defense once you are in trial, only as a claim to get a summary judgment or dismissal in your favor. Also, immunity generally only applies so long as your are actin in accordance with established laws or agency rules, not acting in direct contravention of them, such as what is alleged in this case, inentional conealment of exculpatory evidence.


It's a grant of immunity from civil damages, I'm wondering if this action based on a criminal? charge is enough to overcome that immunity or if he needs to be retried again.  The article isn't great on what exactly is being done at this trial.  It's a suit brought by the state bar, is it an action to disbar him?  Criminal charges? what?

Giant Clown Shoe: They are middling students, out shined by their peers, spectacular only in their ability to fill out the back of the large classroom.


Me and my friends at the back of the room are all doing criminal appointments and doc review.  The future prosecutors were all sitting in the front of the class gunning.
 
2013-02-16 02:21:19 PM
Why does this shock people? It's SOP.

Prosecutors advance in their career by getting convictions, not by allowing innocent people go free.

They have the practically limitless power of the government behind them. The entire system is weighted against the (typical) individual.

What do people expect to happen?
 
2013-02-16 02:22:38 PM
Where I grew up we had a county prosecutor who ran on a platform of charging all minors who have alcohol in their system while driving with a DUI.  Michigan has zero tolerance for minors driving with any measurable BAC.  So his whole platform was to enforce the law as strictly as possible.  He won in a landslide.  The citizens were very concerned with teenage DUIs apparently.
 
2013-02-16 02:27:11 PM

rev. dave: FTFA: "I think we saw someone who is still struggling with denial and anger, a man who has spent at least three decades in power who for the first time is having to answer for his actions."

I think the damage he has done over his entire career will be hard to quantify.  So lets go ahead and give him the death penalty.  Make an example of him like he has done so many times in the past.


this
but we dont need to let him present any evidence, because, well, we KNOW he is a bad guy.
and we KNOW the death penalty has never ever put an innocent man to death.
/sarcasm alert for the sarcasm impaired

WHAT an asshole
 
2013-02-16 02:34:54 PM
How much bullshiat will people take before they start killing the evil motherfarkers surrounding them?
 
2013-02-16 02:37:22 PM

snuffy: it is about time this a**hole gets his.

he has been screwing people since the 70's


Yes, I know firsthand.
 
2013-02-16 02:38:32 PM

Champion of the Sun: Me and my friends at the back of the room are all doing criminal appointments and doc review. The future prosecutors were all sitting in the front of the class gunning.


Sounds like I went to a better law school. ; )
 
2013-02-16 02:46:57 PM

DubyaHater: So the man spent 25 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. He had free room-and-board, free meals and access to a gym, TV and a library. What's the problem?


There's no liberty/pursuit of happiness in prison.
/ehhh shouldn't feed the trolls, oops.
 
2013-02-16 02:57:40 PM

James F. Campbell: How much bullshiat will people take before they start killing the evil motherfarkers surrounding them?


I think we covered that question last week, in L. A.
 
2013-02-16 02:59:48 PM

Giant Clown Shoe: PreMortem: Prosecutors are the most evil people people I've had the non-pleasure of being around.

And in law school you can tell who is going to gravitate to the States Attorney's Office.  They are middling students, out shined by their peers, spectacular only in their ability to fill out the back of the large classroom. And after no law review or moot court having no chance of getting an offer from any firm they become even more bitter, angry and racist than they were before their 1st Crim Pro 1 class.

You know what made most of the guys in high school who became cops different from you?  It's the same in law school.  The dumb and mean become prosecutors


That's interesting. It makes a lot of sense.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-02-16 03:05:43 PM
Your DA is usually elected. If you dislike the way they prosecute people, run against them. Write articles opposing them. Recruit others to run against them.

The Essex County, Mass. DA decided to prosecute a burglary victim with felony assault for punching the burglar in the face. The editorial linked below was typical of the response. This happened at the right time in the election cycle to draw a threat of a contested election. The DA later dropped charges. (Technically nol prosse, which means he could bring the charges again after publicity goes away, but so far as I know he did not.)

http://www.wickedlocal.com/halifax/topstories/x1749265921/HERE-S-THE -P OINT-Something-wrong-with-this-picture
 
2013-02-16 03:07:31 PM

strangeluck: Mikey1969: And THIS is why I'm fine with people being able to appeal their case. Multiple times, even. It's either incompetence, corruption, or just plain bad luck, but there are people all of the time getting wrongly convicted, and it sucks...

Also, FTFA:
But before killing her, he put on his scuba diving wet suit to disguise himself from his son.

What The Fark? The jury bit on this bullshiat?

That was an episode of CSI I think, scuba suit and all.

But totally agree, the system is so corrupted, you should be able to appeal as many times as needed.

The sad flip side to that though, is the ones who are actually guilty would abuse the feature like crazy.


Nah, the CSI episode was the urban legend of "Scuba diver found in the middle of a forest fire".
 
2013-02-16 03:10:34 PM

BarkingUnicorn: James F. Campbell: How much bullshiat will people take before they start killing the evil motherfarkers surrounding them?

I think we covered that question last week, in L. A.


Which apparently also included murdering folks tangentially related.
 
2013-02-16 03:11:23 PM
Sitting on the stand with a box of tissues, Anderson got tearful as he protested his innocence: "The office I ran was professional. It was competent. We did things right. We got it right."


So he's incompetent, AND a weepy little girl?

/apologies to any actual little girls reading this
//you're apparently more of a man than this Texas asshole
 
2013-02-16 03:11:27 PM
He committed a crime that resulted in destroying an innocent man's life as well as the son's life.  He belongs in prison.  I'm going to guess he will be shielded under that immunity loophole the authorities use to cover their own ass.

When an honest mistake is made, e.g. the prosecutor has believable evidence that the person did it, you don't go after them, but to purposely hide evidence should remove all immunity normally granted.
 
2013-02-16 03:16:43 PM

cman: Its a shame that one cannot get the chair for ruining lives like this.

Why is this farker not behind bars yet?



Because nearly every prosecutor in the country belongs behind bars for similar conduct?

And who will prosecute the prosecutors?


/Justice isn't just
 
2013-02-16 03:33:36 PM
When on a jury don't even listen to the "judges instructions"-you are the jury not him or her.
And on really stupid unjust laws don't hesitate to educate the other jurors on jury nullification.
Per the federalist papers our country's constitution was founded on it truly is our last line of defense for unjust laws.

/ not a wacko
// what right is right and what is wrong is wrong
/// as a jury foreman judge was pissed when mentioned his instructions (opinion) really doesn't matter
    to our decision.
//// research jury nullification
 
2013-02-16 03:43:56 PM

myislanduniverse: MFAWG: Ken Anderson, now a Williamson County district judge, testified repeatedly during a rare court of inquiry that he had little memory of the trial or the case


Of course he doesn't.

It only made his career, and he has recounted it as one of the seminal moments... and he's previously defended his handling of it.  But it's easy to just "forget" these things when you need to.


kind of like "i don't recall" when asked by the senate.
 
2013-02-16 03:46:32 PM
Texas need a lot more Rick Caseys.
 
2013-02-16 03:58:23 PM
By Texas statute, it is a prosecutor's "Duty to see that justice is done." (citation omitted). Prosecutors typically look at the facts of a case and make a plea bargain offer---however if the Defendant rejects it, then the prosecutor puts the full weight of his office against the Defendant and seeks to obtain the most punishment possible---usually because the Defendant made him "work for it" (in other words, prove it) How come the prosecutor's view changed? Why wasn't his assessment consistent? Because prosecutors only want to win and they want every Defendant and defense attorney to know that if they don't accept his offer that they will get their butts kicked---That is how the Williamson County DA's office has always been run (well, probably most DA's offices too) and they still, even under a new DA, do not give copies of police reports/witness statements/videos to the Defense.  The judges are mostly former DA's and don't give 2 shiats about anybody/anything but their re-election.
 
2013-02-16 04:13:35 PM
Rough timeline for those not familiar:

1986 - Christine Morton murdered. Lead investigator zeroes in on Michael Morton and won't consider or follow up on other possibilities.
1987 - Ken Anderson prosecutes Michael Morton and hides evidence (doesn't put lead investigator on the stand and more damningly, doesn't turn over the notes about these items to the judge as ordered to), such as the witness account from the three year old boy, the witness statements from neighbors about a green van and a man walking into the woods, and the fact that Christine's credit card was used two days after the murder. I think that the defense had access to the bandana but without DNA testing or the other information it wasn't particularly relevant.
1988 - Debra Baker murdered by the same person who murdered Christine.
2002 - Ken Anderson becomes district judge and John Bradley becomes DA.
2005 - Innocence Project/Michael Morton try to get access to other evidence and get the bandana DNA tested. John Bradley blocks efforts for five years.
2011 - Michael Morton declared innocent. Real killer is found.
2012 - John Bradley loses re-election. Inquiry process starts for Ken Anderson.
 
2013-02-16 04:18:55 PM

TiiiMMMaHHH: DubyaHater: So the man spent 25 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. He had free room-and-board, free meals and access to a gym, TV and a library. What's the problem?

This.  I mean, his wife is dead.  What the hell else is he going to do with his time?


Not to mention he got free child care for his kid. He definitely came out ahead when all's said and done.
 
2013-02-16 04:27:25 PM

Rapmaster2000: I think this kind of thing isn't limited to Texas.


Hey now, who else will these morons project all of our countries problems on?
 
2013-02-16 04:30:09 PM
In law school, you have to take a class called "Professional Responsibility". Despite it supposedly being one of the most important parts of law, it's a one-term course, usually taken in your 3L year, generally because it's a big part of the bar exam. There's a very brief section about the special duties required of prosecutors, and an even briefer section in THAT about how the prosecutor's job is not to "win" but to ensure a proper carriage of justice, including his duty to provide all exculpatory evidence to the defendant in a timely fashion, and to fairly pursue all investigative leads, regardless of whether they will help or harm his case.

This is so little stressed, it might as well be ignored in law school; and in the real world, we all know that the whole point of ANY endeavor is to win, whether it's a pick-up basketball game or a Presidential election. So how can we be surprised that prosecutors (who are elected) cheat and lie in the pursuit of "justice"? Prosecutors should be hired by the city or state, which would at least make their jobs less dependent on a winning record (though not fully free of it). Better still would be an independent audit system; but that would require a loosening of the confidentiality that protects the attorney-client relationship. Pesky civil rights again.
 
2013-02-16 04:31:59 PM

quiet_american: Only because we have this law-and-order bullshiat presumption that we can divine like medieval kings guilt and innocence do we hate defense attorneys. Because you can never truly know what happened, they're the most important piece of the system that prevents it from being merely a pipeline to prison, which it already is in many places.


Your Jib. I like the cut of it.
 
2013-02-16 04:45:35 PM
Go into an major DA's offices and tucked away out of public view but prominent enough that employees can find it, you will see "the board".  Dallas county has one.  Tarrant does too.  "The board" is usually a giant whiteboard with each prosecutor's name listed on it.  Next to each name is their vital statistics such as wins, losses, trials, pleas, etc.

This manner of public accolades and shame serves to drive home one point and one point only:  Winning isn't everything, it's the *only* thing.
 
2013-02-16 04:49:03 PM

Gyrfalcon: In law school, you have to take a class called "Professional Responsibility". Despite it supposedly being one of the most important parts of law, it's a one-term course, usually taken in your 3L year, generally because it's a big part of the bar exam. There's a very brief section about the special duties required of prosecutors, and an even briefer section in THAT about how the prosecutor's job is not to "win" but to ensure a proper carriage of justice, including his duty to provide all exculpatory evidence to the defendant in a timely fashion, and to fairly pursue all investigative leads, regardless of whether they will help or harm his case.

This is so little stressed, it might as well be ignored in law school; and in the real world, we all know that the whole point of ANY endeavor is to win, whether it's a pick-up basketball game or a Presidential election. So how can we be surprised that prosecutors (who are elected) cheat and lie in the pursuit of "justice"? Prosecutors should be hired by the city or state, which would at least make their jobs less dependent on a winning record (though not fully free of it). Better still would be an independent audit system; but that would require a loosening of the confidentiality that protects the attorney-client relationship. Pesky civil rights again.


Considering you have to pass the MPRE to even sit for the bar in most states, seems like ethics is stressed sufficiently.  Granted, almost all of these shiat heel prosecutors went to law school before the MPRE it's a moot point.

I hate elected prosecutors, it just begs for injustice.  But I can't see a system where a bunch of nepotism hires prosecuting our laws would be better either.  Maybe we should do away with dedicated prosecutors altogether, do it by appointment.  Put your name on a list, and you get called to either prosecute or defend, no choice in the matter.  Wouldn't work in a lot of cases because you need some specific knowledge, but it could work.  Maybe a central arbiter of who to charge and who not to, so we still have prosecutorial discretion, but that person wouldn't argue the cases.  Things like OJ and Casey Anthony wouldn't happen anymore, prosecutors looking for a boost in their careers wouldn't be able to bungle and mischarge people for their own gain.

Ultimately, the flawed system we have now is the best that can be done.
 
2013-02-16 04:58:39 PM

HindiDiscoMonster: FarkinHostile: PreMortem: Prosecutors are the most evil people people I've had the non-pleasure of being around.

Followed closely by defense attorneys. Then lawyers in general.

[cdn2-b.examiner.com image 420x250]


you understand, Shakespeare had an evil authoritarian proclaim that to his friends so he'd not be bothered any more by their pursuit of Justice? That the whole quote is Tongue in cheek? Just making sure.
 
2013-02-16 05:02:23 PM
Champion of the Sun:

I hate elected prosecutors, it just begs for injustice.  But I can't see a system where a bunch of nepotism hires prosecuting our laws would be better either.  Maybe we should do away with dedicated prosecutors altogether, do it by appointment.  Put your name on a list, and you get called to either prosecute or defend, no choice in the matter.  Wouldn't work in a lot of cases because you need some specific knowledge, but it could work.  Ma ...

Two quotes come to mind:

"Every nation has the government they deserve." - De Maistre

"We do not need to get good laws to restrain bad people. We need to get good people to restrain us from bad laws." - Chesterton

Agree with RocketDude on nullification. It doesn't seem like people fully understand that you can nullify even stupid laws, not just horribly unjust ones. The people are the final judge.
 
2013-02-16 05:07:07 PM

quiet_american: Agree with RocketDude on nullification. It doesn't seem like people fully understand that you can nullify even stupid laws, not just horribly unjust ones. The people are the final judge.


I'm not sure regular Texans would be any more just than a corrupt prosecutor though.  Nullification is a double edged sword, a lot of ugly shiat can get excused by it too.  People bring up lynchings going unpunished back in the day because of nullification.  Not sure how true that is though.
 
2013-02-16 05:23:19 PM

ZAZ: Why is this farker not behind bars yet?

The statute of limitations for perjury in Texas is two or three years. I doubt contempt of court would have a decades long limitations period.

I think this kind of thing isn't limited to Texas.

In Massachusetts we had the Fells Acres day care hysteria. Prosecutors just couldn't let go after the conviction was called into question.


The argument is by making a motion to prevent the testing of DNA until last year, the crime continued.

Texas Monthly has a lengthy piece on the whole affair.


http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/innocent-man-part-one

The man whose DNA showed up on the handkerchief, showed up on another murdered women 18 months later. The daughter of that women is furious.
 
2013-02-16 05:23:29 PM

Champion of the Sun: quiet_american: Agree with RocketDude on nullification. It doesn't seem like people fully understand that you can nullify even stupid laws, not just horribly unjust ones. The people are the final judge.

I'm not sure regular Texans would be any more just than a corrupt prosecutor though.  Nullification is a double edged sword, a lot of ugly shiat can get excused by it too.  People bring up lynchings going unpunished back in the day because of nullification.  Not sure how true that is though.


not sure if trolling or not.

historical objections aside, it's the best available remedy in the current situation. the beauty of nullification is that you don't need the whole pool to agree, you just need enough not to convict.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson
 
2013-02-16 05:28:26 PM

OgreMagi: He committed a crime that resulted in destroying an innocent man's life as well as the son's life.  He belongs in prison.  I'm going to guess he will be shielded under that immunity loophole the authorities use to cover their own ass.

When an honest mistake is made, e.g. the prosecutor has believable evidence that the person did it, you don't go after them, but to purposely hide evidence should remove all immunity normally granted.


The person who killed the wife also killed a women 18 months later. The women's daughter holds the judge responsible for her mothers death.
 
2013-02-16 05:30:30 PM

BSABSVR: Rapmaster2000: I think this kind of thing isn't limited to Texas.

There's not a DA in the country that has ever been elected on respecting the rights of the accused and conscientiously balancing Americans' desire for security with liberty. They all get elected by promising to be tougher on crime than the other guy.


I'd say that's your problem right there.....
 
2013-02-16 05:30:42 PM

quiet_american: not sure if trolling or not.

historical objections aside, it's the best available remedy in the current situation. the beauty of nullification is that you don't need the whole pool to agree, you just need enough not to convict.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson


That's the problem though, you get enough tea party patriots in the jury pool, and hillbillies are blasting away at government agents with impunity.  I'm being a little snarky there, but not trolling.  Nullification sounds great when talking about marijuana possession and stuff, but the logical conclusion of it is that ugly stuff starts getting excused too. 
It's illegal (in most states) and immoral to shoot someone that's fleeing from a scene of a crime.  In Texas, people love that shiat, so if nullification became the norm, you're gonna see a lot more of it.
 
2013-02-16 05:36:13 PM

Hobo Jr.: ZAZ: Why is this farker not behind bars yet?

The statute of limitations for perjury in Texas is two or three years. I doubt contempt of court would have a decades long limitations period.

I think this kind of thing isn't limited to Texas.

In Massachusetts we had the Fells Acres day care hysteria. Prosecutors just couldn't let go after the conviction was called into question.

Still the prosecutor's actions lead to the murder of a woman a year later.

Should he be tried for murder? No. But he is at least an accessory to the crime.


Why couldnt he be tried for murder? We already have the bullshiat argument about if cops shoot the wrong person during a shootout/chase, or someone dies during the pursuit of a suspect, that that suspect can be held accountable for the death of that non-party individual.  His action lead a murder later? Done deal man.  Turn about is fair play. Hold him accountable.
 
2013-02-16 05:40:20 PM

kriegfusion: Why couldnt he be tried for murder? We already have the bullshiat argument about if cops shoot the wrong person during a shootout/chase, or someone dies during the pursuit of a suspect, that that suspect can be held accountable for the death of that non-party individual. His action lead a murder later? Done deal man. Turn about is fair play. Hold him accountable.


requires he be the proximate cause of the murder, here he obviously isn't.  Not saying he won't be civilly liable though.  Assuming they somehow strip him of his governmental immunity.  Which is doubtful.
 
2013-02-16 05:44:25 PM

Champion of the Sun: quiet_american: not sure if trolling or not.

historical objections aside, it's the best available remedy in the current situation. the beauty of nullification is that you don't need the whole pool to agree, you just need enough not to convict.

"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson

That's the problem though, you get enough tea party patriots in the jury pool, and hillbillies are blasting away at government agents with impunity.  I'm being a little snarky there, but not trolling.  Nullification sounds great when talking about marijuana possession and stuff, but the logical conclusion of it is that ugly stuff starts getting excused too. 
It's illegal (in most states) and immoral to shoot someone that's fleeing from a scene of a crime.  In Texas, people love that shiat, so if nullification became the norm, you're gonna see a lot more of it.


overcorrection in favor of individual citizens where more people go free is infinitely preferable to overcorrection in favor of the state where the prisons are overflowing. let a few guilty people out so that you better ensure you don't have innocent people in prison.
 
2013-02-16 05:54:20 PM

quiet_american: overcorrection in favor of individual citizens where more people go free is infinitely preferable to overcorrection in favor of the state where the prisons are overflowing. let a few guilty people out so that you better ensure you don't have innocent people in prison.


No, currently it takes twelve people (varies by state to state) to put a person away.  You want to go to a system where as few as one person on a jury can fail to put someone away, which is a greater injustice.  It's much less likely that twelve people convict an innocent man that it is for one person to sympathize with a guilty person and nullify the jury.
 
2013-02-16 06:13:54 PM
We can't have a thread about lawyers without some douche quoting the whole "kill all the lawyers" thing, can we? This is why we can't have nice things!
 
2013-02-16 06:23:16 PM

cman: Its a shame that one cannot get the chair for ruining lives like this.

Why is this farker not behind bars yet?


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 
2013-02-16 06:29:53 PM

alexjoss: We can't have a thread about lawyers without some douche quoting the whole "kill all the lawyers" thing, can we? This is why we can't have nice things!


Can we do it without quoting Paula Poundstone?
 
2013-02-16 06:31:23 PM

Champion of the Sun: quiet_american: overcorrection in favor of individual citizens where more people go free is infinitely preferable to overcorrection in favor of the state where the prisons are overflowing. let a few guilty people out so that you better ensure you don't have innocent people in prison.

No, currently it takes twelve people (varies by state to state) to put a person away.  You want to go to a system where as few as one person on a jury can fail to put someone away, which is a greater injustice.  It's much less likely that twelve people convict an innocent man that it is for one person to sympathize with a guilty person and nullify the jury.


Let me get this right, it's a 'greater injustice' that someone is 'failed' to be put away, than for one person to be able to invalidate a bogus prosecution?

Just your word choice reveals so much: it's not about 'failing' to be put away, it's whether a jury of your peers can agree that 1) you are guilty, 2) you deserve to be punished, and 3) the extent of your punishment. The way you speak about it it's as though the state has a right to 'put away' whomever they want and the individual defendant and individual jurors have no say in the matter. If they do, they're messing up the game that the prosecutor is playing.

Many jurors don't realize how little they get to see. How many witnesses are prevented from testifying, how much evidence gets in front of them, and even how many defenses the defendant is allowed to give.

There is so much potential for prosecutorial abuse, and abuse of the system and process, that the one juror is obligated to stand up and do what's right, even if that means saying the law itself is invalid. Thankfully TFA shows why this is so important.


If you were just trolling, 8/10, rustled my jimmies.
 
2013-02-16 06:39:46 PM

quiet_american: Champion of the Sun: quiet_american: overcorrection in favor of individual citizens where more people go free is infinitely preferable to overcorrection in favor of the state where the prisons are overflowing. let a few guilty people out so that you better ensure you don't have innocent people in prison.

No, currently it takes twelve people (varies by state to state) to put a person away.  You want to go to a system where as few as one person on a jury can fail to put someone away, which is a greater injustice.  It's much less likely that twelve people convict an innocent man that it is for one person to sympathize with a guilty person and nullify the jury.

Let me get this right, it's a 'greater injustice' that someone is 'failed' to be put away, than for one person to be able to invalidate a bogus prosecution?

Just your word choice reveals so much: it's not about 'failing' to be put away, it's whether a jury of your peers can agree that 1) you are guilty, 2) you deserve to be punished, and 3) the extent of your punishment. The way you speak about it it's as though the state has a right to 'put away' whomever they want and the individual defendant and individual jurors have no say in the matter. If they do, they're messing up the game that the prosecutor is playing.

Many jurors don't realize how little they get to see. How many witnesses are prevented from testifying, how much evidence gets in front of them, and even how many defenses the defendant is allowed to give.

There is so much potential for prosecutorial abuse, and abuse of the system and process, that the one juror is obligated to stand up and do what's right, even if that means saying the law itself is invalid. Thankfully TFA shows why this is so important.


If you were just trolling, 8/10, rustled my jimmies.


That's some authentic frontier gibberish and a stunning display of innumeracy.

In theory it's be great to have one juror stand up to injustice.  I'd love if that were the case.  However, what would actually happen in the real world is that many guilty people would go free.  Really guilty people, who are guilty of really bad crimes.  If some anti-government nutjob kills a state worker, and they get put on trial with a jury full of Texans, nullification would get him off on the charge.  It's a dangerous tool, which is why no serious legal scholar supports it.  It's way too easy to abuse.  This isn't ten guilty going free instead of one innocent going to jail, it's more like thousands of guilty going free, and maybe an innocent person going to jail.  And if a juror sees misconduct by a prosecutor, wouldn't the rest of the jury see it too?  I don't think you understand how this works.
 
2013-02-16 07:00:25 PM

Champion of the Sun: quiet_american:

That's some authentic frontier gibberish and a stunning display of innumeracy.
In theory it's be great to have one juror stand up to injustice.  I'd love if that were the case.  However, what would actually happen in the real world is that many guilty people would go free.  Really guilty people, who are guilty of really bad crimes.  If some anti-government nutjob kills a state worker, and they get put on trial with a jury full of Texans, nullification would get him off on the charge.  It's a dangerous tool, which is why no serious legal scholar supports it.  It's way too easy to abuse.  This isn't ten guilty going free instead of one innocent going to jail, it's more like thousands of guilty going free, and maybe an innocent person going to jail.  And if a juror sees misconduct by a prosecutor, wouldn't the rest of the jury see it too?  I don't think you understand how this works.


I enjoy your new legal definitions. People are now "really guilty" and guilty of "really bad crimes" as opposed to "somewhat guilty" and "kind of bad crimes"

I also enjoy your understanding of the jury process, that they all act in concert and as one voice. Nullification would just "get him off on the charge" because Texans love nutjobs. Great logic. It's so much better that innocent people go to jail, because, hey, this abstract legal threat to potential government workers is more important.

You've identified one possible minute obscure problem and you use it to invalidate the entire spectrum of actual moral wrongs currently existing. Three million people in prison, and your answer is a form of "tough shiat" to people who get bowled over by prosecutors, and then their juries are lied to about their actual abilities and authority.

One of the many problems is that each jury decision is taken out of context to the rest of the case. Guilt is determined. Punishment is assessed. And yet many juries want to hear what the range of punishment might be, they want to know the consequences of their actions. Yet that's purposefully denied to them. Look at the abuse of the "three strikes and your out" systems, where minor infractions can result in enormous consequences, and all a jury knows is the simple matter put before them. Our system is throwing people into prison and it's not the prejudice of Texans or simply a 'law and order' mentality as you suggest and build up a straw man about, it's the system itself that removes important and material context from jury decision-making. If jurors feel pressured to render a decision, they ought to have this option as well.

You say it's a dangerous tool, but it's a dangerous situation we're in where people are committing numerous felonies a day, where prosecutors purposefully overcharge defendants, where public defender offices are used to process people through the system instead of giving them any meaningful right to indigent counsel. The danger is from the tools being used by this system to imprison millions. And the secondary danger is from the state sycophants who find ways to justify the actions by the state to unjustly imprison people.

Since prosecutors won't abide by even the most minimal pro-defendant rights, because Brady is effectively unenforceable, nullification is an important tool to counter this dangerous system.

And yes, part of our system is that guilty, and even "really guilty" people might go free. Because they deserve due process. They deserve a fair hearing. And the balance of those rights is tilted in their favor, not those of the state.

It's truly disgusting and reprehensible that you'd justify imprisoning the innocent.


Again, if trolling, 9/10, jimmies sufficiently rustled.
 
2013-02-16 07:12:14 PM
Judge should be put to death
 
2013-02-16 07:12:51 PM

quiet_american: It's truly disgusting and reprehensible that you'd justify imprisoning the innocent.


Not at all what I was doing.  Nullification only works against unjust laws, not unjust process.

Sentencing minimums and plea deals are travesties in my opinion, but nullification isn't the way to fix that.

Look up nullification and lynchings
 
2013-02-16 07:17:10 PM
I grew up in Williamson County and have witnessed the railroading of suspects my entire life.  Williamson county has long held the reputation of a place of ridiculous conduct by its uneducated Sherrif's deputies and its overzealous, narcissistic prsecutors.  It gives me great schadenfreude knowing Ken Anderson's life is finally getting what he has so certainly earned it.

He sent one of my best friends to prison for 15 years for having 20 hits of acid when we were juniors in high school. This man and those who've worked with and for him have never had any qualms about ruining the lives of those and the families of people who came into his courtroom. For this pile of pig excrement to complain he has had to spend his life savings defending these accusations truly shows his colors.  He "earned" his life savings by stealing many peoples' lives. May the man go to prison, die from ass-cancer 26 years after and burn in hell
 
2013-02-16 07:20:30 PM

Champion of the Sun: Considering you have to pass the MPRE to even sit for the bar in most states, seems like ethics is stressed sufficiently. Granted, almost all of these shiat heel prosecutors went to law school before the MPRE it's a moot point.

I hate elected prosecutors, it just begs for injustice. But I can't see a system where a bunch of nepotism hires prosecuting our laws would be better either. Maybe we should do away with dedicated prosecutors altogether, do it by appointment. Put your name on a list, and you get called to either prosecute or defend, no choice in the matter. Wouldn't work in a lot of cases because you need some specific knowledge, but it could work. Maybe a central arbiter of who to charge and who not to, so we still have prosecutorial discretion, but that person wouldn't argue the cases. Things like OJ and Casey Anthony wouldn't happen anymore, prosecutors looking for a boost in their careers wouldn't be able to bungle and mischarge people for their own gain.

Ultimately, the flawed system we have now is the best that can be done.


Pft, anyone could take a course and pass the MPRE. It's a multiple choice test. I never knew anyone who failed it. It teaches "ethics" like the STARS test teaches math. Knowing what you're "supposed" to do and actually doing it are totally different things.

I like your idea of appointed prosecutors, and I'd extend that to appointed defense counsel. Let the defendant hire whoever he wants to prepare his case--and the state can have whoever they want prepare theirs--but when it comes to actually presenting the thing, draw lots or whatever and whoever's on the list has to actually argue the case. Then there could be no personal theatrics, and no personal glory or failure when the case comes to trial, no "Dream Team" and all that nonsense.
 
2013-02-16 07:46:18 PM
 I'm gunna go out on a limb a say that the defendant was black.

I dunno, but in these cases in Texas when they're all gung-ho on someone when the evidence is so weak that always seems to be the case.

Hypnozombie
 
2013-02-16 07:56:23 PM
I blame GOD


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1JawSJJggERed State

/Commie Bastards
//The second amendment was meant for the south
///That is that North to USE on the south
////Fark Texas
//Also Fark North Texas
//And Presbyterians
//And evangelicals
//And Religious people
//LOTS OF SLASHIES
 
2013-02-16 08:22:37 PM
Article is crap.

First of all, the article makes it seem like Ken Anderson withheld important DNA evidence that later came to light and proved the innocence of the man originally convicted. But back when this guy was prosecuted, there was no such thing as DNA evidence. Ken Anderson would have no way of being able to tell whose blood was on the bandana.

What the former attorneys of the man convicted actually accused Ken Anderson of was not disclosing a report that a neighbor saw a suspicious man nearby the crime scene and a supplemental police report where the defendant's mother-in-law told the police that her three year old grandson witnessed the murder and told her a monster did it. It looks like Ken Anderson responded to these accusations by saying he didn't remember the details of a case he tried over twenty years ago but he believed if he had received the supplement, he must have disclosed it. Apparently whoever was judging the dispute ended up believing Ken Anderson over the former attorneys and he was cleared of misconduct.

I don't think that is unreasonable. Are you going to remember the exact details of some project you worked on twenty years ago? Sure, it involved a murder, but for someone like Ken Anderson, a five day murder trial was probably fairly routine. For the same reason, I would be skeptical if the defense attorneys from that case testified with certainty that they never received the supplement. Neither of these are smoking gun pieces of evidence. Sure, a suspicious man seen nearby the scene casts some doubt, but it is the sort of detail that is not going to be particularly memorable. Keep in mind that during a murder investigation, police are going to be asking everyone around the area if they saw anything suspicious.  The other supplemental report may have been disregarded entirely by the defense attorneys on the grounds that the three year old witness would have been unreliable or a risk to the defense.

It would not really be surprising that when a defense attorney opens his files from a five day long trial that occurred twenty five years ago, it might be missing a police report or two. The newspaper seems to take the position that the former district attorney was so overzealous that he obviously cast justice aside by concealing documents just so he could win a trial. Those are serious accusations and I would think that normally when someone makes a serious accusation like that, we apply apply the standard of innocent until proven guilty. I think this applies especially in this case given the fact that there was a contested, under oath hearing regarding this dispute and whoever presided over it cleared Ken Anderson of misconduct.

I don't like hearing about people who were convicted and imprisoned for crimes they didn't commit and I understand when it happens, we want to look for people to blame. The prosecutor is an obvious target but I think it is wrong to just automatically place all the blame on him or place the burden on him to explain, in retrospect, all of the ways he could have done something differently 25 years ago. The prosecutor wasn't the only person responsible for the guilty verdict, either the defense attorneys failed to raise any reasonable doubts or if they did, the jury did not reach the correct verdict.
 
2013-02-16 08:34:43 PM

Lt_Silvio: Article is crap


So he probably disclosed those reports and the defense attorney just ignored two different eye witnesses that would've cleared his client?  That's what you're going with?
 
2013-02-16 09:10:10 PM

Lt_Silvio: Article is crap.

First of all, the article makes it seem like Ken Anderson withheld important DNA evidence that later came to light and proved the innocence of the man originally convicted. But back when this guy was prosecuted, there was no such thing as DNA evidence. Ken Anderson would have no way of being able to tell whose blood was on the bandana.

What the former attorneys of the man convicted actually accused Ken Anderson of was not disclosing a report that a neighbor saw a suspicious man nearby the crime scene and a supplemental police report where the defendant's mother-in-law told the police that her three year old grandson witnessed the murder and told her a monster did it. It looks like Ken Anderson responded to these accusations by saying he didn't remember the details of a case he tried over twenty years ago but he believed if he had received the supplement, he must have disclosed it. Apparently whoever was judging the dispute ended up believing Ken Anderson over the former attorneys and he was cleared of misconduct.

I don't think that is unreasonable. Are you going to remember the exact details of some project you worked on twenty years ago? Sure, it involved a murder, but for someone like Ken Anderson, a five day murder trial was probably fairly routine. For the same reason, I would be skeptical if the defense attorneys from that case testified with certainty that they never received the supplement. Neither of these are smoking gun pieces of evidence. Sure, a suspicious man seen nearby the scene casts some doubt, but it is the sort of detail that is not going to be particularly memorable. Keep in mind that during a murder investigation, police are going to be asking everyone around the area if they saw anything suspicious.  The other supplemental report may have been disregarded entirely by the defense attorneys on the grounds that the three year old witness would have been unreliable or a risk to the defense.

It would not really be surprising tha ...


OK-- maybe the article is crap, but is based off of facts-- tons of them. If you base your opinion off the article alone, I can see your point, but there is ALOT more to it.   Ken Anderson knew there was a bandana found with blood on it behind the house and he also knew Michael Morton's son saw saw the murder, described the murder scene in a way ONLY someone who saw it happen would know (There was a suitcase found on top of the body upon its discovery.  The child said he saw a man smash her face and put it on top of her).  This was in the Sheriff's report.  Ken Anderson knew these facts didnt line up with his presumed theory of Morton killing her while wearing scuba gear, therefore he excluded them.  The legal way he did this was by not asking the lead investigator to testify.  He simply had his mind made up and didnt want to be bothered with the facts.
This article doesnt tell the whole story as the entire story is deep.  Not only did the Wilco team hide the facts then, they fought DNA testing 19 years later for 6 years --all the way up to the point the Innocence project kicked their asses in court and got permission to test the bandana.  During the course of events leading up to Morton getting released, Anderson and his ass clown DA buddy, John Bradley still said they believed he was guilty-- totally ignoring the DNA evidence pointing to the evidence a stranger committed the murders-- backing up what the neighbors said to investigators and what the investigators knew his son said.
It wasnt until the DNA came back to match Norwood whose DNA also matched the murder scene of Debra Baker that they finally said they felt it deserved a "second look".  This clown show has been going on here for years. It took tenacious lawyers from out of town to hand the Williamson county's DA office's asses to them and not stop fighting. This has been needing to happen for years.  It is about time their filthy laundry has been hung out for the world to see.  -- and man, there are sihtstains all over it.

What is so ironic is this same court is trying Mark Norwood for the murder of Christine Morton and is now using the exact same evidence in their prosectution of Norwood that they vehemently withheld from the defense team of Michael Morton. The size of their balls is beyond comprehension. Granted, the DA now was handed this pile of shiat from Bradley after he got his ass kicked in the election. Conservative WIlco was so fed up and embarrassed of John Bradley after the world saw this case, they elected a female DA with zero experience prosecuting felony cases.
 
2013-02-16 09:11:07 PM

softshoes: Texas is big on frying people for this type of thing. How the hell did he escape that?




He is white.
 
2013-02-16 09:17:46 PM

Champion of the Sun: Lt_Silvio: Article is crap

So he probably disclosed those reports and the defense attorney just ignored two different eye witnesses that would've cleared his client?  That's what you're going with?


I don't know what happened, I wasn't even born when this case went to trial, that is how old it is. I never said I thought the defense attorneys ignored these reports, what I said is they might not remember them twenty five years after the fact. You act like the defense could easily win the case with this information but you don't know that, unless you have additional information not contained in this article. You have no idea what evidence the prosecution presented during its case. There was a suspicious man in the woods nearby the house. Well, I do not know for sure but if the theory of the prosecution was the defendant killed his wife after she refused to have sex with him, I am guessing she was in the bedroom, not outside in the woods. Now, would this still be something the defense attorney would probably want to point out? Maybe, or maybe they had better defenses they focused more on.

The supplement seems even less memorable. The prosecution's theory was that the defendant wore a scuba suit so his son would not recognize him. So basically the defense attorney was on notice that the son thought it was a monster who murdered his mother and that he could not identify the father as the killer. All that the supplement says is that the son said the same thing to his grandmother that he probably testified to in court. I doubt that anyone involved in the case would remember this supplement twenty five years after the fact.
 
2013-02-16 09:54:35 PM
poe_zlaw:

You seem to know more about this then I do, maybe there could be a good case brought against Ken Anderson. I don't know that choosing to have his lead investigator not testify is shady, seeing as how the defense could have still called him if they wanted to. But if he did actually know about these reports and did not disclose to the Defense, then yeah, he committed misconduct and clearly was in the wrong and should be criticized in the news. I still would say this article did not make a good case against him.

Also will say I don't agree with fighting to prevent DNA being used to review evidence after the fact. If Ken Anderson was part of that, I think it is worthy of criticism as well.
 
2013-02-16 10:43:51 PM

Lt_Silvio: poe_zlaw:

You seem to know more about this then I do, maybe there could be a good case brought against Ken Anderson. I don't know that choosing to have his lead investigator not testify is shady, seeing as how the defense could have still called him if they wanted to. But if he did actually know about these reports and did not disclose to the Defense, then yeah, he committed misconduct and clearly was in the wrong and should be criticized in the news. I still would say this article did not make a good case against him.

Also will say I don't agree with fighting to prevent DNA being used to review evidence after the fact. If Ken Anderson was part of that, I think it is worthy of criticism as well.


Im from WIlliamson county.  This story has been followed here closely for the past few years-- There is a very good, popular magazine in Texas called Texas Monthly.  It has also done a superb job following this case and has done several very long articles detailing the case.  I highly suggest anyone who is interested in this case to read them.
 
2013-02-16 11:10:25 PM

Lt_Silvio: Champion of the Sun: Lt_Silvio: Article is crap

So he probably disclosed those reports and the defense attorney just ignored two different eye witnesses that would've cleared his client?  That's what you're going with?

I don't know what happened, I wasn't even born when this case went to trial, that is how old it is. I never said I thought the defense attorneys ignored these reports, what I said is they might not remember them twenty five years after the fact. You act like the defense could easily win the case with this information but you don't know that, unless you have additional information not contained in this article. You have no idea what evidence the prosecution presented during its case. There was a suspicious man in the woods nearby the house. Well, I do not know for sure but if the theory of the prosecution was the defendant killed his wife after she refused to have sex with him, I am guessing she was in the bedroom, not outside in the woods. Now, would this still be something the defense attorney would probably want to point out? Maybe, or maybe they had better defenses they focused more on.

The supplement seems even less memorable. The prosecution's theory was that the defendant wore a scuba suit so his son would not recognize him. So basically the defense attorney was on notice that the son thought it was a monster who murdered his mother and that he could not identify the father as the killer. All that the supplement says is that the son said the same thing to his grandmother that he probably testified to in court. I doubt that anyone involved in the case would remember this supplement twenty five years after the fact.


So why are you defending the case so ardently and so sure the whole story is crap, "Lieutenant"?
 
2013-02-17 01:03:08 AM

Champion of the Sun: Maybe we should do away with dedicated prosecutors altogether, do it by appointment.


I really like this idea.  When an attorney is admitted to the bar in a given state, his/her name goes on a list of candidates for "prosecutor duty," just as ordinary citizens must be available for jury service.

Same story for public defenders.  If you can't afford to retain your own attorney, one is randomly assigned to you from a pool that includes every lawyer in the area.

Why doesn't it already work this way?
 
2013-02-17 01:10:54 AM

Gyrfalcon: Lt_Silvio: Champion of the Sun: Lt_Silvio: Article is crap

So he probably disclosed those reports and the defense attorney just ignored two different eye witnesses that would've cleared his client?  That's what you're going with?

I don't know what happened, I wasn't even born when this case went to trial, that is how old it is. I never said I thought the defense attorneys ignored these reports, what I said is they might not remember them twenty five years after the fact. You act like the defense could easily win the case with this information but you don't know that, unless you have additional information not contained in this article. You have no idea what evidence the prosecution presented during its case. There was a suspicious man in the woods nearby the house. Well, I do not know for sure but if the theory of the prosecution was the defendant killed his wife after she refused to have sex with him, I am guessing she was in the bedroom, not outside in the woods. Now, would this still be something the defense attorney would probably want to point out? Maybe, or maybe they had better defenses they focused more on.

The supplement seems even less memorable. The prosecution's theory was that the defendant wore a scuba suit so his son would not recognize him. So basically the defense attorney was on notice that the son thought it was a monster who murdered his mother and that he could not identify the father as the killer. All that the supplement says is that the son said the same thing to his grandmother that he probably testified to in court. I doubt that anyone involved in the case would remember this supplement twenty five years after the fact.

So why are you defending the case so ardently and so sure the whole story is crap, "Lieutenant"?


I don't understand what you are posting about. I am not defending any case. I believe the man who was convicted was in fact innocent. Nothing I wrote suggests otherwise. I did defend Ken Anderson, arguing that, according to the information in the article, there was no reason to believe he did anything wrong. I continue to agree with that. I concede there maybe information not in this article that would implicate Ken Anderson but no one has posted it. I never said this whole story was crap. I didn't dispute a single fact in the story, I only criticized that it reached conclusions that were not consistent with the facts described in the article.

So I am not defending any case nor calling the "whole story" crap. I am saying the article is poorly written. It is not persuasive for several reasons which I already pointed out. You do not know anything about me so I would avoid using quotation marks when referring to me unless you can back it up, which you cannot.
 
2013-02-17 01:13:50 AM

mesmer242: 2005 - Innocence Project/Michael Morton try to get access to other evidence and get the bandana DNA tested. John Bradley blocks efforts for five years.


john bradley was beaten to death by ninjas. the same ninja who were threatening ross perot's family.

seriously, spending 5 years blocking access to evidence should lead to an automatic death sentence. no trial. no jury. your victim gets to kill you. legally.
 
2013-02-17 08:47:14 AM

Man On Pink Corner: Champion of the Sun: Maybe we should do away with dedicated prosecutors altogether, do it by appointment.

I really like this idea.  When an attorney is admitted to the bar in a given state, his/her name goes on a list of candidates for "prosecutor duty," just as ordinary citizens must be available for jury service.

Same story for public defenders.  If you can't afford to retain your own attorney, one is randomly assigned to you from a pool that includes every lawyer in the area.

Why doesn't it already work this way?


We allow defendants to pick their own counsel when they can afford it.  Don't need some brand new attorney prosecuting against the Johnny Cochranes of the world.  Rich people already take advantage of the system, so that's a major drawback.  For minor crimes it would work.
 
2013-02-17 09:53:54 AM

namatad: mesmer242: 2005 - Innocence Project/Michael Morton try to get access to other evidence and get the bandana DNA tested. John Bradley blocks efforts for five years.

john bradley was beaten to death by ninjas. the same ninja who were threatening ross perot's family.

seriously, spending 5 years blocking access to evidence should lead to an automatic death sentence. no trial. no jury. your victim gets to kill you. legally.


He lost re-election in the primary and basically everybody hates him to the point that he's going to have to start his own small practice to survive. No one will give him a job. That's almost as sweet as ninjas.
 
2013-02-17 10:03:27 AM

Lt_Silvio: I continue to agree with that. I concede there maybe information not in this article that would implicate Ken Anderson but no one has posted it. I never said this whole story was crap. I didn't dispute a single fact in the story, I only criticized that it reached conclusions that were not consistent with the facts described in the article.


Ya know, I dont agree with your position here, but I see your point. I was involverd in a scientology thread the other day. People were saying that the cult participated in kidnapping=, murder, blackmail, extortion, and the whole 9 yards. I had always heard these things as well. I asked for sources, and along with two solid ones, I got a slew of news articles making uncubstantiated accusations that were so poorly sourced they'd make a high school journalism student blush.

When I tried to point out the 'evidence' being offered wasn't evidence at all, I immediately was a scientology apologist, a moron, 'unbelievably obtuse' and actually was threatened with ostracism for going against fark group think about a cult (oh the irony).

Like I said, I disagree with your point of view, but trying to make people here see that you are merely commenting on the quality of the article cited makes you the moron, not the mob with a startling lack of reading comprehension.
 
2013-02-17 10:16:48 PM

Champion of the Sun: We allow defendants to pick their own counsel when they can afford it. Don't need some brand new attorney prosecuting against the Johnny Cochranes of the world. Rich people already take advantage of the system, so that's a major drawback. For minor crimes it would work.


Hmm, that does sound like a valid point.
 
2013-02-19 08:27:10 PM

quiet_american: The people are the final judge.


The judge is nothing more than a referee.  He's there to make sure the court proceedings are followed correctly.  He is NOT there to decide the guilt or innocence or on whether the law itself is just.  Any judge who states (and this happens all too often) that the jury must convict if the evidence proves guilt even if they disagree with the law, is a lying sack o'shiat.

The jury is there to judge the defendant AND the law itself.
 
2013-02-19 08:30:20 PM

Champion of the Sun: In Texas, people love that shiat, so if nullification became the norm, you're gonna see a lot more of it.


Jury nullification requires a majority (or unanimous) decision by the jury.  A couple of rednecks protecting "one of their own" won't result in an epidemic of home shootings.
 
2013-02-19 10:06:26 PM

Champion of the Sun: quiet_american: It's truly disgusting and reprehensible that you'd justify imprisoning the innocent.

Not at all what I was doing.  Nullification only works against unjust laws, not unjust process.

Sentencing minimums and plea deals are travesties in my opinion, but nullification isn't the way to fix that.

Look up nullification and lynchings



You're using one period of time in one region of the country to invalidate a perfectly reasonable process.

And you're also flat wrong that nullification can't serve to undo improper process. Look up nullification.

The system was set up to allow for multiple points of the process to ensure injustices were rare. Because we all delegate our responsibilities and obligations, such as what you've said, that's lost. The police have the discretion in most cases not to record a crime. A DA has an option whether to accept the charges. A judge has the option to dismiss them. And a jury has every right to correct that process at the last moment.

Their decision can be based on a reading of the law, the situation and context, the process or at least the amount they've been aware of, and for any other reason they want.
 
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