Category: sentencing

  • Back to Federal Court

    I believe strongly that federal criminal trials can be won—the Government, while powerful, is not omnipotent. Because of this belief, I have tried more federal criminal cases than state misdemeanor cases; my first jury trial ever was a bank robbery case in Lee Rosenthal's court. Some years ago, I aspired for a brief time to […]

  • Writing Sample

    Here (JDSupra) is a sentencing memorandum that I wrote for a man convicted of a federal crack cocaine conspiracy (this case). He had suffered a horrible childhood, and then lived a law-abiding life for about 25 years before It did the trick, and it has received good reviews from those who have read it; I […]

  • Love in the Air?

    The smell of flowers fills the air in the elevator at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center. Is it love . . . or is it The Gruff Marshmallow bringing flowers to his number-three prosecutor for, in her first felony jury trial, convincing a jury to give the defendant a life sentence for DWI? For […]

  • Why Let Juries Sentence?

    When Texas legislator Scott Hochberg sought to ban probation for murder, he was able to get a bill passed preventing juries from recommending probation in murder cases. Judges can still, if prosecutors play along by agreeing not to have jury trials, put people on probation for murder. If things had to change (there really was […]

  • Jury Sentencing in Texas

    Gideon, following Doug Berman’s train of thought here, asks, Why don’t we have jury sentencing in non-capital criminal cases? In Texas, we do have jury sentencing in non-capital cases. The accused can elect before trial to have the jury set punishment in the event of a conviction (and we get jury trials for everything). If […]