Category Archives: DA Watch

Lesson For Texans From Netflix’s “Making of a Murderer”: Public Defenders vs. Hired Defense Lawyers

If you haven’t watched the documentary “Making of a Murderer” yet, odds are high that you’ve heard about it. A Netflix Original, the 10-episode documentary took 10 years to make and debuted on Netflix back in December 2015. It follows the story of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin local boy Steven Avery, known to most in his…

Prosecutor Deals, the Bill Cosby Criminal Case, and Probable Cause Examining Trials in Texas

The Bill Cosby scandal continues to grab headlines almost daily: we all know about how the famous comedian was arrested in December 2015 on felony sexual assault charges up in Pennsylvania. This, on top of all the civil defamation lawsuits that have been filed against Cosby, and the countering claims he’s filed as well. Read…

Grand Jury in Texas: Defending Witnesses and Targets of Grand Jury Investigations

You read about grand juries all the time: just this month, there was national news coverage in the Tamir Rice case, because there was no indictment; the grand jury voted against it.  Another example: in the Sandra Bland case, there was an indictment because the grand jury voted for it – after the grand jury…

Prosecutorial Misconduct in Texas Alert: Ethical Rules Held to Have Broader Duty Than Brady to Turn Over Exculpatory Evidence to the Defense

Back in November 2014, a State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee ruled that a Denton County assistant district attorney named William (”Bill”) Schultz had violated the ethical rules that all Texas attorneys are sworn to uphold.  Not only that, but more: he had committed a serious ethics violation and his unethical conduct deserved suspension from…

Year in Review: Things for Dallas to Consider From a Criminal Defense Perspective

How Dangerous is It to Live or Work in Dallas County? Here we are at the end of another year. Let’s take a minute and consider where things stand as we enter 2016, from a North Texas Criminal Defense perspective: 1. Dallas County Is Really, Really Dangerous As reported by Grits for Breakfast this week,…

Sexual Assault Arrests for 10 Year Old Crimes: Cold Case Rape Kit Backlog Prosecutions in Dallas and North Texas

This summer, Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk announced that she had hired a new prosecutor and an investigator for her Sexual Assault Unit especially to try rape cases based on all the rape kits that are finally being tested here.  Dallas and North Texas should expect to see arrests being made in cold case…

Waco Justice? 100 Days After Twin Peaks Biker Arrests, Things Look Fishy to Criminal Defense 

Today, the Dallas Morning News published an editorial calling for the end of the gag order down in Waco which prevents law enforcement and state authorities — much less anyone else — from revealing information about the May 17, 2015 shootout involving lots of bikers and motorcycle club members at the Twin Peaks restaurant in…

District Attorneys Keep Doing Bad Things: More Texas Prosecutorial Misconduct Stories

The problem of prosecutors doing bad things like hiding evidence and introducing unreliable (or false) testimony isn’t getting better.  Recently, the Daily Beast published an expose on prosecutorial misconduct in the United States, labeling the problem a national epidemic. You can read their take on things in the article written by Jay Michaelson and published…

Police That Lie: More on the Secret Texas District Attorney Lists of Police Officers Not Trustworthy to Take the Witness Stand

Prosecutors have lists of the names of police officers and deputy sheriffs that they don’t trust to take the witness stand — did you know these lists existed?  Do you think that every police officer is honest and trustworthy to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth on the stand? Brady…

Fighting the Prosecutor on Just Punishment: Evidence on Sentencing and Probation After a Conviction in Texas

For many people, maybe because it seems like it in so many TV shows, criminal trials are one big event.  It’s exciting and fast-paced, where the attorneys roam the courtrooms, there’s very little paperwork, and there are lots of people going up to the witness stand for short stints. In reality, things are different. Two…