Three Stupid State Tricks

Williamson County’s John Bradley says, “The government has already decided, as a matter of law, that [marijuana] is not available for such a [medical] purpose. No defense permitted.” (H/T Robert Guest, via Grits.) Oops, sorry, John!

DPS Troopers are shopping for Denton, Dallas, and Tarrant County judges to “go to for blood warrants.” Not to worry, they already have judges they use in McKinney County.

In Houston, HPD DWI Task Force officer Paul Lassalle wants to make sure HPD doesn’t have to actually use the video equipment that state law requires it to have and to maintain. Hmm. Why would the DWI Task Force not want video recordings of people arrested for DWI? Could it be that they’re arresting people who look sober and sound sober? Well, no matter. Not using video is okey-dokey with Harris County prosecutor Warren Diepraam. See the emails in the link, and remember this the next time the State complains about how difficult DWI cases are to prove.

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0 responses to “Three Stupid State Tricks”

  1. WRT the Houston DWI videotape law –
    Interesting. Not surprising, but interesting. I’m curious as to what prompted the DWI Officer to inquire about this in the first place. Was he actually clever enough to anticipate that some uppity [accused]drunk might try to use this law in their defense? Or was/is he currently involved in a case where some [accused] drunk’s attorney actually had the nerve to present a failure to tape wrt the law to his client’s advantage? My guess is the latter.

    P.S. IANAL or even a Texan, but I enjoy your blog, and this is my first comment here. Yay me!

  2. Mark,

    Did you read the latest Voice for the Defense? I was looking for you thoughts on the federal sentencing guidelines article.

    In sum- the article showed how the guidelines have greatly reduced the percentage of cases going to trial.

  3. By not using the video, they ensure the case going to trial. When it goes to trial, they get overtime. And, by padding the report with the names of officers who “checked by” it means your buddy gets overtime too.

    How many troopers does it take to make a DWI arrest? Answer: One. How many HPD officers? Answer: at least 3

  4. Can the fact that the Feds give out medical hemp be used as a defense (either in federal court or state).

    If not, can it be used in opening or closing arguments? Not really looking for a lengthy answer, unless you have the time. Was just curious.

  5. Sir,

    I read your comments in regards to the email chain between myself and some district attorneys. You have taken that chain way out of context in order to make a point that demeans officers and prosecutors. We have had occasions that a video was not available and in those cases the defense attorneys were lying (go figure) to the district attorneys stating that we had to have a video in order to try the case. The email chain was in response to those false statements made by your colleagues in order to prosecute good DWI cases properly.

    If you would have been so kind as to have published the entire chain anyone would be able to determine the true intent of the emails. Others would also be able to see the findings of the State Court of Appeals in the matter. Those findings were that a video did not have to be made of the defendant unless the officer believed that the video would provide additional evidence that could lead to the conviction of the defendant, and that the defendant did not have a right to be videotaped at the county’s expense. The other outcome of the decision of that court was to reprimand the county and appellate court that attempted to reverse the guilty verdict in that case.

    Let me also state that the Houston Police Department has recently spent over a million dollars in order to update the video systems in the patrol cars used by DWI and other traffic units. We are committed to capturing the evidence on video tape and more importantly removing the impaired driver from the streets. In the event that a video system fails due to the email chain that you misuse in your article, we are able to quash the lies of the defense attorneys and proceed with the case in court. Fortunately in Harris County the testimony of an officer is still believed by a jury and many of these people still get convicted.

    I would hope that you would edit your article or remove your abuse of the emails from your website entirely.

    The misquoted officer,

    Paul Lassalle
    Don’t Drink and Drive!

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