It’s Tuesday, and Pat Lykos is Still Lame

On the heels of Kelly Siegler’s realization that it was time for Chuck Rosenthal to resign (which itself followed only a month after Jim Leitner’s call for Chuck to resign), DA candidate Pat Lykos has discovered that it’s time for a change at the DA’s office.

Now, if you’re running on Kelly’s “let the entrenched leadership of the Office correct its own problems” platform, and your goal is to convince the voters ultimately that Chuck Rosenthal was the whole problem all along, then it might make sense for you to take some time to make the momentous discovery that Chuck Rosenthal isn’t the best guy to be running the Office right now.

But if you’re running as an outsider, claiming to be the right one to fix a government agency that everyone outside the office can see is broken, should you really (never mind the ludicrous self-righteous posing) be the last serious candidate to realize that, whoever should be running the Office right now, it’s not Chuck?

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0 responses to “It’s Tuesday, and Pat Lykos is Still Lame”

  1. Today, Tuesday, there was a DA Candidate forum at the Houston Pachyderm Club.

    Leitner, Lykos, and Perry visited this hotbed of blue haired mavens, Kelly was a no show, which was commented upon by the CLub leadership.

    Lykos, giving the lesser Satan her due, gave a good speech. She is the candidate for change, because chnage is good, and she is all about good changes that make changes that are good. The blue hairs applauded wildly.

    Leitner was his normal calm, precise self.

    Perry was a good man, but had no clue as to what the DA’s Office did.

    After the speeches, questions were fielded from Club members, answered in alternating order.

    The first question, obviously from a plant, asked what each candidate’s position was on pre-trial diversion and deferred.

    Lykos started off and informed the audience that pre-trial BONDS were a valuable tool that allowed the JUDGE to decide if a defendant was a good candidate for probation or deferred. She informed the audience that a pre-trial bond made the defendant report regularly and take UAs, which the JUDGE could then use to determine if the defendant deserved probation and deferred. Lykos was all for pre-trial bonds.

    The blue hairs thought this was a capital idea and applauded wildly.

    Leitner correctly said that a pre-trial diversion was a contract between the DA and the defendant. He opined that it was a valuable tool to keep young, non-violent offenders from becoming permanent drags on society, as might happen if they had a felony conviction.

    The mavens applauded politely.

    Perry thought Leitner had fine ideas.

    SO ends another day in Republican politics…..

  2. As an aside, I have been informed that at the normal Tuesday night drinking session, several ADA’s, (Luci, Paul), had it on good authority that Leitner had announced that he was going to throw his support behind Lykos.

    I guess this is going to be the norm for the increasingly desperate Kelly faction.

    The video of the forum will be up on Channel 2 soon. Neither Luci or Paul was present at the debate.

    I was, and Leitner did not say that, either publicly or privately.

  3. bubbajoe6pack = Clint Greenwood. Leitner’s unofficial press secretary, and official treasurer.

    Come on, kids. Kelly is good, Jim is good, Lykos is very, very bad. Truth told, either Jim or Kelly would probably back the other if the alternative is Lykos. Even if they don’t do it in public.

    Bradford – nightmare.

    By the by – if you were “informed” that certain ADA’s “had it on good authority” that blah blah blah – I guess (1) you weren’t there yourself, (2) you didn’t hear what was actually said, (3) and you really don’t know who said (4) what. So just like a false rumor was apparently attributed to Jim, now, you’ve put words in someone else’s mouth (Luci, Paul).

    I’ll give you a pass on that – but let’s just stop with all the double and triple hearsay.

    Come on Clint. Kelly is no more desperate than Jim is – They are both good candidates, neither of whom really wanted to be thrust into the public light, but would rather be selfless than have the horrible alternative(s). Maybe you should spend more time focusing on the greater evil, and less time on gossiping about what ADA’s are worried about. That’s obvious. They are worried about their jobs and the people they are charged with protecting. Victims.

  4. Thanks for the comments.

    Pro-V, what do you say about the victimless cases, which are the majority of the cases prosecuted by the Harris County DA’s Office?

  5. I get your meaning when you say victim-less crimes, Mark. I’ll give you my own answer in the context of the question, but please don’t think I concede the idea that there really are “victim-less” crimes. Prostitution is often viewed that way, but we all know the arguments that say that prostitution really isn’t victim-less. I’ve seen too many capital murder cases that started out with a guy having dope or money from dope sales that someone else decided to rob them of, the dope dealer ends up dead, and someone is facing a life or death sentence. We might say the dope possession is victimless, but it creates the potential for a hell of alot of harm to fall -on the dope dealer, the guy who risks life and limb to rob the dope dealer, and any innocent person who happens to be within effective lethal range of the random gunspray, including the kids playing down the block.

    I’ll fess up – I’m an ADA at the Harris County D.A.’s Office. (Shock). But I am not afraid to give a person who has a lengthy felony prison history for a “victimless crime” a deferred adjudication, if I am convinced that THIS time – the defendant is serious about changing his life. I’ve routinely given deferreds to felony prostitutes or PCS defendants – some of them with LITERALLY dozens of prior convictions, when I have that defendant who is finally honest and says – I have a cocaine problem, and I need to get help, drug treatment, or I am going to end up dead in prison or on the street. If I think (s)he is finally facing reality, I will not simply send them back to the pen for the 30th time because they have a lengthy history. I’d rather they NOT die in prison or on the street because of drugs. I WANT them to be happy people, who are productive and can be active in their families lives.

    However, I also think some people will always have an excuse, and don’t really want to change. Too many people, sadly. At some point, I owe a responsibility to the home owners who are tired of guys standing in their front yards, smoking crack in front of the children. If the defendant wants to fight his addiction – I am willing to give him a shot, regardless of his history. Some folks finally wake up. But if they don’t, then I’m going to lock them up. I really don’t have any other choice. I don’t take joy in it.

    I make decisions based on the info available to me. I try to listen with an open mind to all info a defendant (through his attorney) wants to give me. Some lawyers hold back info, because they don’t trust the prosecutors (some prosecutors do not deserve that trust, because they betray it – I know – but those ADA’s develop a reputation, and they pay for it in the long run – I’d rather have a defense bar who trusts me, so I don’t end up looking like a fool, or inadvertently causing a bad result to happen). Yes, I do maintain a healthy skepticism about info I get, since so many people will lie, even to their own lawyers, in order to get out of trouble. But I try, Try, TRY, to be fair and reasonable, based on the info I have. I know I make mistakes sometimes. But I don’t “go after” people just because I can.

    Every day that I go to court, and I see only PCS, Prostitution, and no accident DWI’s on my new docket, I am relieved, and a little happy. No one got raped or hurt or killed yesterday in my world. That’s a relief. And yeah, many of these defendant’s will go to jail – sometimes even when I wish they would take the probation and try to rehab themselves. I can’t force them.

    Regardless of the outcome, I always hope, and I really do even pray to God (because I believe in God, you know), that whether this defendant goes to jail or takes probation, or even gets a dismissal, that I never have to see them back in court again. If they never come back – then maybe we made a difference in their lives, and who knows how many others? It’s not bull that I’m running to you. I really feel this way. So do all of my friends. It’s why we work so hard for so little money.

    Sorry for the long post.

  6. Wow, pro.v.

    Two small quibbles:

    First, in most prostitution cases, if there’s a victim it’s the one you’re prosecuting.

    Second, it’s not the dope possession that creates the potential for harm; it’s the illegality of it. If dope were legal, possessing it would be no more dangerous than possessing alcohol. It’s not really honest for the government to make dope expensive (and therefore dangerous) and then claim that its possession creates victims because its possession is dangerous.

    I was brought up as a defense lawyer with the rule that I shouldn’t show my cards to the prosecutor unless it would be impossible for the prosecutor to woodshed his witnesses to trump them. You may not believe this, but if you tell a cop “the defendant says X” and the cop says “this is not in my offense report, but actually not X”, the cop is probably lying. Cops know the system, and they game it because they know they’ll never be prosecuted for perjuring themselves for the government.

    Sometimes I break the rule, but those cases are the exceptions, with exceptional facts or exceptional prosecutors.

    The public thinks they want you to be sociopathic in your pursuit of wrongdoers; you and I know that they are wrong. The criminal “justice” system is a blunt instrument for solving problems that require a surgeon’s scalpel. More compassion and — is 2004 far enough behind us that I can say this? — nuance is called for in all of its players.

  7. Mark, I fully respect the school of thought you work with in deciding what info to keep close to the chest. I know some witnesses (cops or otherwise) will try to “fix” things.

    I was brought up as a prosecutor with the rule that my job was to seek the truth, where-ever that leads me. In one case, that truth lead me to testify against a police officer in a civil service disciplinary hearing. I’ve prosecuted people who made up stories to get others in trouble. I’ve been in screaming matches with police officers when I’ve refused to file their charges because I felt laws on search and seizure were not complied with. I’ve been involved in getting at least one very senior officer demoted for his bad acts. I’ve reported suspicious conduct by cops to their superiors, and to the DAO Police Integrity Division when I thought there was even the possibility of inappropriate police conduct.

    And I’ve caught alot of defendants and their friends and family members being “less than honest” too.

    Man, being a lawyer is tough. We get tagged for being so unethical all the time when the reality is we spend most of our time, on State and Defense sides, trying to make sure that our witnesses aren’t lying to us, judges, and juries.

    As for prostitution, maybe we can reach an agreeable compromise? Maybe zoning. It’s legal to sell and buy for a fee, so long as you don’t do it in a residential area. Stay within certain blocks on Richmond, or whatever, and it’s no crime. Go outside the painted markers, and it’s a crime. Like a trespass or something.

    Once the legislature(s) make prostitution and drugs legal, I’ll stop trying to enforce those old, defunct laws. Until then, I’d be derelict in my duty.

    Besides, Mark, you’d go broke without anyone to defend. Sheesh. You must be true blue in your belief – anyone who’d give up their lucrative income for the sake of humanity . . . . Wait, described like that, you sound a little like a prosecutor.

    Kidding aside – I love your point of view on all the things going on around us, Mark. Keep up the good work.

  8. Pro.v,

    That sounds like Hamsterdam. (Are you a fan of The Wire? )

    Ultimately, if we are worth a damn, we have to come to grips with the ethics of the work we do. When I say “ethics”, I don’t mean the rules that the Lege and the State Bar make for us, but the rules that we make for ourselves.

    If one were to reach the personal ethical judgment that using violence or the threat of violence against nonaggressors was unethical, “the legislature commands it” would not be justification enough for doing so.

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