- 11 of the 22 state district courts would use a public defender office for appellate work;
- 5 of the 22 state district courts would use the office for adult felony cases;
- 2 of the 3 juvenile courts want to use both public defenders and private attorneys; and
- all 15 county courts want to use public defenders for defendants who are disabled or who have mental problems.
These are the musings, ramblings, rantings and observations of Houston DWI Attorney Paul B. Kennedy on DWI defense, general criminal defense, philosophy and whatever else tickles his fancy.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Harris County to fund public defender's office
Tech coach bans Twitter
According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, linebacker Marlon Williams asked on his Twitter account why he was still in a meeting room when "the head coach can't even be on time." That tweet has been deleted and his page no longer exists.
Leach said players' Facebook pages will be monitored. He does not want his players sharing information about the football team on them.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
The 80/20 Rule
Thursday, September 24, 2009
More on the junk science of scent identification
There are two very important questions that should underlie the law's admission of and reliance upon forensic evidence in criminal trials: (1) the extent to which a particular forensic discipline is founded on a reliable scientific methodology that gives it the capacity to accurately analyze evidence and report findings and (2) the extent to which practitioners in a particular forensic discipline rely on human interpretation that could be tainted by error, the threat of bias, or the absence of sound operational procedures and robust performance standards... [I]t matters a great deal whether an expert is qualified to testify about forensic evidence and whether the evidence is sufficiently reliable to merit a fact-finder's reliance on the truth that it purports to support. -- "Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward"
The marketing of fear
Jason Gregory, who manages Gretna Gun Works just outside of New Orleans, has been building his personal supply of ammunition for months. His goal is to have at least 1,000 rounds for each of his 25 weapons.“I call it the Obama effect,” said Gregory, 37, of Terrytown, La. “It always happens when the Democrats get in office. It happened with Clinton and Obama is even stronger for gun control. Ammunition will be the first step, so I’m stocking up while I can.”
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Celebrate freedom, read a banned book
Intellectual freedom can exist only where two essential conditions are met: first, that all individuals have the right to hold any belief on any subject and to convey their ideas in any form they deem appropriate; and second, that society makes an equal commitment to the right of unrestricted access to information and ideas regardless of the communication medium used, the content of the work, and the viewpoints of both the author and receiver of information. Freedom to express oneself through a chosen mode of communication, including the Internet, becomes virtually meaningless if access to that information is not protected. Intellectual freedom implies a circle, and that circle is broken if either freedom of expression or access to ideas is stifled. - American Library Association "Intellectual Freedom Manual"
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Ulysses by James Joyce
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
- As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
- A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
- Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
- Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- Native Son by Richard Wright
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
- Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
- The Call of the Wild by Jack London
- Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
- All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
- Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
- Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
- Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
- Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
- A Separate Peace by John Knowles
- Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
- Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
- The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
- Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
- An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
- Rabbit, Run by John Updike
Monday, September 21, 2009
Fill 'er up, please
Friday, September 18, 2009
Scent identification - the new "poo-poo" science?
In 1998, Keith Pikett turned his hobby into a career with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office.
Since then, police, prosecutors and the media have praised the deputy and his dogs' work in more than 1,000 investigations.
But Pikett's credibility is being tested in both civil and criminal court. Two federal lawsuits, filed little more than a year apart, claim Pikett's scent lineups are designed to implicate suspects - not to gather objective evidence.
Meanwhile, judges have twice excluded him from testifying as an expert because of questions about the science supporting his work or his honesty.
In 2007, Pikett testified that three of his dogs, Jag, James Bond and Clue, never erred in scent identifications, despite having sniffed hundreds of lineups. A fourth hound, 12-year-old Quincy, performed 1,483 scent lineups and made only two mistakes early in her career, Pikett said.
The grunt work makes it possible
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
A League City war story
Monday, September 14, 2009
New DWI program sounds more and more like deferred adjudication
"After a DIVERT interview has occurred, if it is determined that a defendant is both eligible and an appropriate candidate for the program, an agreement will be tailored to the defendant with customized conditions of the program. If the defendant accepts the terms of the agreement, the defendant will be required to enter a plea of guilty to the offense of Driving While Intoxicated and agree to the punishment to be received in the event of a violation of the conditions of the program. As part of the agreement, the Defendant will waive the right to a jury trial, right to appeal from a finding of guilt and right to appeal from assessment of sentence."
"If the defendant, after evaluation, chooses not to enter into the DIVERT program, the District Attorney agrees that any information directly or indirectly derived from the interviews or testing of the defendant during the DIVERT evaluation will not be used as evidence against the defendant in any criminal proceeding except for the purposes of impeachment, rebuttal, or cross-examination should the defendant testify or provide the court with information contrary to that provided in the evaluation process; or information learned from a source independent of the evaluation."
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Cops packing needles
What should I do if I'm pulled over for DWI?
Friday, September 11, 2009
Taking a lunch break
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Harrowing tales of conditions in the Harris County Jail
As for meals, "that whole food thing is hit or miss," said Shemika. "When they did feed you, it was a bologna sandwich — and I'm Muslim." Frank George Smith Jr. said he was there three and a half days and got just two sandwiches. No one was given anything to drink. There was only the fountain, which was suspended just above the toilet. The toilet was "like a fucking rain forest," Jarret said, "fungus and mold in there like this thick." People were lying on the floor around it; someone was always sitting on it. Jarret managed not to use the toilet for two and a half days — "man, you just take the stomach pains," he said — but he had to drink. "You practically got to put your face in shit to drink," he said. And Smith said, "you see that tan truck there? The water looked about like that."
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Cell phone users pose more danger than drunk drivers
"When you're on a call, even if both hands are on the wheel, your head is in the call," said Janet Froetscher, president of the National Safety Council.