I am informed by a usually reliable source that, contrary to popular perception (and my implication here), counting scalps was not a big thing in the Holmes / Rosenthal / Siegler DA’s Office. Wins and losses were not a big factor.

By contrast, he says, prosecutors in the Lykos DA’s Office are afraid to dismiss bad cases because dismissals are counted against them. So in his view the transition to the Mike Anderson DA’s Office will be an improvement where the counting of scalps is concerned.

One less thing for the criminal-defense bar to worry about?

6 responses to “Erratum”

  1. We are in a competitive business. There has always been competition in the DAs Office for advancement.

    The Harris County DA’s Office has for years kept records on ADA wins and losses. Has that changed? Of course wins matter, as do losses.

    The Da’s duty is to do justice. Some take that more seriously than others

    Some couldn’t give a damn about that: Bradley in Georgetown & Sebesta in Burleson county would be two who dont appear to have been motivated much by justice. Convictions at any cost yes. Justice no.

    Mike Anderson is a very personable guy. I am happy he beat Lykos for too many reasons to count. But for starters, Mike and I are the same species. It’s important to me that we get back to having a human being as our DA.

    But humans are frail. I hope Mike Anderson will heed the wisdom of Abraham Lincoln.

    President Lincoln, said,

    “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

    If Mike is elected DA, he will have extraordinary power and his character will face many tests. I am hopeful he passes those tests and is a fair DA who honors his duty to do Justice. That would include not counting scalps.

    Robb Fickman

    • Mr. Fickman, you seem to have a firm grip on what’s going on in both camps.

      Regarding “Scalps”: Due to your position, *do you happen to know the percentage of criminal cases Ms. Lykos’s team indicted only to result in being plea bargained away? *The percentage of plea bargains involving defendants being on probation at time of arrest? *Does your good-buddy plan to keep the Post Conviction Integrity Unit up & running and possibly amp it up to include; Closed / Cleared claims regarding cases having absolutely nothing to do with DNA or Death Row? (Ms. Lykos sure as hell didn’t & Rosenthal wouldn’t even dream of it.) I predict he’ll either trash it or gear it to only locate wrongful convictions tied to D’s.

      Regardless of his actions, I will be providing him with a benefit of the doubt and plan to be the first to test ‘his’ Unit to see if it’ll investigate an atrocity committed on an R’s watch. Thanks for your assistance.

  2. I get dismissals with great frequency. Seriously. As an example, had a case in which the defendant was extradicted from a northern state dismissed a couple of months ago which is far outside the norm because of the expense involved. When I do the appointed docket in the misdemeanor courts I average just under 1 dismissal a day, I’d guess. (I get 2 sometimes and 0 some times.) I’ve simply not found this claim of the difficulty to get dismissals to be true.

    I tried a case in front of Mike Anderson. I hope it is a “different” Mike Anderson who takes the DA’s office, if he does. That was not a good or fair experience, and my innocent client charged with a first degree felony injury to the elderly walked away with a not guilty despite the efforts of the bench to see him convicted. As you know, mine is not the only nightmare story about his prosecuting from the bench.

  3. Well if he’s going to be a prosecutor better for him to be a prosecutor than a judge.

    Cindy I am sure you get your share of dismissals. But you are far better than most lawyers and far better than the miserable misdemeanor court appointment system you alluded to. We must take care not to create a false impression that the Harris County Misdemeanor Court Appointed system is fair or just. It’s neither. And though you get good results thats a tribute to your dedication and in spite of the despicable system.

    The misdemeanor court appoitment system is a complete disgrace deisigned to coerce pleas of guilty from the poorest and the weekest among us. The motivation is the judges obsession with moving their Dockets.

    Poor people cannot afford to make bond. So they stay in jail and get court appointed counsel. The Court appointed lawyers either dont ask or are denied PR Bonds on MISDEMEANORS.

    So the poor, They are kept in jail. They are not all lucky enough to get you appointed to represent them.

    Most get worthless lawyers who do nothing. The lawyer talks to the Da. Gets the offer for each defendant. The defendants have a choice: plead guilty and get out of jail sooner or plead not guilty and get out of jail later.

    Most plead guilty that first day. Not because they are guilty. Nope. They plead guilty to get out of jail. The prosecutor, the lousy defense lawyer and the judge are all complicit in this disgraceful system.
    There is no lawyering. No investigation. No research. No witnesses interviewed. Nothing.

    So when we talk about the misdemeanor plea mill
    Let’s remember that the experience your clients have when you get a dismissal is far different than the miserable experience most endure in a criminal justice system that is far more criminal than it is just.

    The Hottest place in hell is for those who abuse the weak and poor.

    I wonder if the judges, lawyers & DAs who daily perpetuate this disgrace, would be comfortable in the knowledge that the Good Lord will accord them the same justice and mercy that today they afford the poor? I kinna doubt it.

    Robb Fickman

  4. Mr. B., your confidential informant is so full of shit that I declare him incompetent and possibly incontinent. Anyone spouting that level of B.S. is as old as mud, white, & balding and definitely from the hell whole Mr. Casey O’Brien flashes back to as the “Holmes Stable”. I’d be happy to provide this goofball with; copies of an HPD Incident Report, Cert. Case Files & a color Police Photo, showing that; Holmes knowingly & willingly participated in “scalping parties”. Working with detectives to detain ‘all’ suspects on probation (via’ falsified non-existent OTW) in order to obtain deceptive “In Chambers” plea bargains. “Holmes the Horrible” & “Rosenthall the Rotten” are simply Pimps with one unknown and clueless cheerleader.

    Both; were enabled by the U.S. Supreme Court (to plead ’em all) which lead to massive jail and prison populations as they ordered the whores in the D.A’s. INTAKE to indict ’em all and let the plea bargain games begin. History (and my certified case files) will forever link him to Texas “the great state of confusion” & “the infamous play bargain games”. Sadly, the joke is on the voters and the taxpayers that happily pick up the tab decades later. Even sadder and most alarming, is the thought of history forever repeating itself due to those that learned ‘their’ way of doing “the right thing” training others. Thanks.

  5. Many of the prosecutors under Pat Lykos have been afraid to dismiss or reduce cases, even when it is plainly the right thing to do, for fear that it will somehow be held against them. Numerous policies have been instituted that undermine or even eliminate prosecutorial discretion, another message from the current administration that she does not trust her employees. This leads to injustices, delays, unnecessary trials, and docket backlog.

    There is no denying that, in some ways, the Lykos Regime has been beneficial to the defense bar. She made a few positive policy changes, and proceeded to run off dozens of experienced prosecutors who were excellent trial attorneys, which is generally good news for our clientele. But in doing so, she also got rid of folks who knew the value of cases and recognized a bogus charge when they saw one. She also created an atmosphere of fear that chilled the decsion-making process.

    There is no doubt that Mike Anderson will be a tough prosecutor and will encourage his troops to vigorously seek justice. But I also believe that he will trust his ADAs enough to let them do the right thing in their discretion, even if “the right thing” means a dismissal or lesser offense. I am also hopeful that he will keep in place some of the (legal) policy changes, such as getting copies of offense reports, that have inured to our benefit.

    I would far rather face off with an worthy opponent who has authority to dispose of her cases as she sees fit than a less experienced adversary who is too frightened to make a decision. On balance, I believe a District Attorney’s Office under Mike Anderson will be better both for our clients and for the citizens of Harris County.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.