Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wrongful Convictions in MY Courthouse? It's More Likely Than You Think.

I've often said that Harris County gets to run roughshod over defendants (I even deleted a post yesterday on Leitner's recent morale/training efforts, and why they aren't necessary because of how easy it is to get a conviction here), so it was no surprise to see this case get overturned. Well, it was a surprise to see it overturned, since I'm sure it wouldn't have had the CCA been the last word on it, but the underlying facts are no surprise. That it involves another Kelly Siegler case makes yet another of my points--that she as often as anyone had to rely on bad evidence or other tricks to get the convictions. She goes so far as to say that she "tried" to use the statements of a co-conspirator with his cooperation, but I guess when he refused she used them anyway. Now let's see, if you "try" to use them appropriately, but can't and decide to use them anyway, isn't that what we call "inappropriate"? And in criminal trials, inappropriate usually means unconstitutional.

You don't think presenting a case to a grand jury three times is a dirty trick? You'e probably a prosecutor. Or someone similarly happy to sign over their rights because the government is "always right." How about that the third time you presented the case to the grand jury just so happened to coincide with a similar and nationally pulicized case in California, allowing you to finally get that indictment that you couldn't get twice before? Harris County may be the only place in America where it's harder to indict a ham sandwich than convict one. As long as Siegler could get the case past that pesky grand jury, she knew she could get the guy convicted (with the help of excluding a few Canadians...).

In this particular case the dirty tricks include using an illegally obtained confession and prventing the defendant from being able to confront his accuser. Doesn't sound like a dirty trick to you? Then you don't know your Bill of Rights. And you're probably still a prosecutor.

I say we bring Siegler back to see if she can get a conviction without violating at least two Constitutional rights.


Arthur Seaton said...

"You don't think presenting a case to a grand jury three times is a dirty trick? You'e probably a prosecutor"

God knows you have never presented one, you windbag.

Anonymous said...

With the winds of change affecting the CCA, I suspect we'll be seeing more of Siegler's specious "convictions" overturned. Sigh - only if she could have been elected Harris Co. DA. "Kelly! Kelly! Auntie Em! Auntie Em!"