Saturday, October 31, 2009

Weekend round up

As usual, some of the crime-related news and some fun info you may have missed.

First, the guy who wielded a ferret as a weapon. I'm wondering this: if he knew it was a weapon, why the heck did he stuff it down his pants??

There's something called the Castle Doctrine, which grants homeowners considerable discretion in the protection of their homes and families. As with everything, people take it too far. Waaaaay too far.

Last week a wheelchair, this week a lawnmower. Result: the same. Jail.

And while it's no longer a crime to commit adultery, this fellow will hesitate before chasing another man's wife.

I seem to have become my court's arson specialist, I tried a case earlier in the year and have another one on the jury docket. I love working with the fire investigators, they are bright and easy going. The would be less easy-going, I suspect, if their bosses spent a million dollars on a fire truck before measuring the station house.

Drugs? Gangs? Or just plain fun? What DO those sneakers hanging from telephone wires mean? Trust the BBC to figure it out. Kinda.

To wrap up, a literary rather than criminal note. The Texas Book Festival was a raging success, and while I didn't make it this year I plan on attending next. With any luck as an author as opposed to a writer. Because anything else would be a crime.

Have a great week, and check back tomorrow for a different take on a courtroom sketch artist.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Quick-Pick Jury. But it'll never happen.

So, I've blogged before about how we pick a jury for trial: here.

Too lazy to click and read? Here's a recap: Sixty people show up, most grudgingly, and sit for between two and Lord-knows-how-many hours while the lawyers try and figure out who can be fair, and who might be best and worst for their case.

And it takes a while. The judge talks for 45 minutes letting the panel know what they are in for and what their responsibilities are. Then the prosecutor talks for anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours, after which a much-needed bathroom break is awarded. Then the defense lawyer gets to his feet and has a go.

When he's finally done the judge calls up jurors who have issues and can't or don't want to serve. Then another break while the lawyers excerise their peremptory strikes and choose which jurors they want.

And then, when the dust settles and the carnage is over, twelve people good and true are impanelled as jurors and both sets of lawyers are left second-guessing their picks.

A waste of a good afternoon, if you ask me: it starts at 1:30 PM and we're rarely done before 5:30 PM. Four long hours where sixty people have to sit still and pay attention. I've tried an entire felony case in four hours.

So how about we do it this way: just one question from the Judge and the first twelve who answer "yes" get seated as jurors. That question: "Can you give a fair hearing to both the prosecution and the defendant?"

This is, after all, what we are looking for, isn't it?

It'll never happen because (a) it'd put a lot of jury consultants out of business (guess how Dr. Phil became famous?) and (b) it would result in lawyers feeling less in control, which would be sacrilege.

The thing is, that's what happens in England, the place from whence much of our law comes. And there's not talk of changing it there. There, the judge asks: "Can you give a fair hearing to both the Crown and the defence*?" Say yes, you're on board. There are some exceptions allowing challenge for cause, but not peremptory challenges.

Some advantages:

1. A more random, and hopefully representative, selection process. Know how many doctors, lawyers, professors etc end up on juries here? Almost none. They know how to get out of it, they are allowed to get out of it, and are frequently deselected by the lawyers. But don't we want smart, educated people on there?

2. Less easy to manipulate, by lawyers and prospective jurors. That's good for integrity.

3. Time. Instead of wasting an entire afternoon, jury selection could take minutes. We'd have to call fewer people to the courthouse, too, making it less of a burden on the 48 people who show up but don't get seated. (And that also means more downtown parking for the rest of us.)

4. Money. Everyone saves money. The clients paying for their lawyer's time, the county paying for my time, the panelists missing work, etc. Knocking jury selection down to thirty minutes might even allow us to try two cases in a week, speeding up the justice system as a whole.

Just a thought.

* They spell it that way when they talk, too. Funny Brits.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thriller Thursday

It's book recommendation day, so here are two for you:


His books are part spy novels, part thrillers, and he was one of the first to introduce an element of realism to this kind of story. His name is Eric Ambler and he's the favorite author of my protagonist, Hugo Marston, and I even take the liberty of quoting Ambler in my own novel (which you'll have to wait for, obviously!).

No doubt I'll recommend other Ambler books in the future, but the first is going to be A Coffin for Dimitrios (also titled The Mask of Dimitrios).

One line synopsis: While vacationing in Istanbul, an English novelist decides to investigate the intriguing past of one of Europe's most sinister criminals. Trust me, there's waaaay more to it than that.

I love Ambler because his characters are so memorable, but without being caricatures. He puts "ordinary" people in bizarre situations and you follow along as they wriggle and twist and try to make sense of them. Or just escape them.


Here's a book for those of you interested in the mind of our most feared criminals, the serial killer. Not a story, it is an overview of the profiling techniques used to catch a few of the nastiest characters who have stalked the earth.

This book can irritate at times because the author, Robert Ressler, is well aware of his abilities and not shy about letting us know how awesome he is. That said, he's a pioneer in the field of behavioral profiling and you won't get much closer to multiple serial killers than this book.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Crying Game, and Other In-Court Stuff

We prosecutors are serious, professional people. But if it's not going well, should we try something different?!

The other day I was sitting at counsel table reading a file. I looked up to find three defense lawyers waiting to talk to me.
Jesus, Cesar, and Bubba.
One wanted forgiveness and a reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor. One wanted to fight the charges and go to trial. One was just passing through the courtroom and stopped to chat.
And, I suspect, only in Texas.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trials this week

Just one jury trial in the District courts this week:






Tattoo Tuesday

Prosecutor's stand next to a lot of defendants, at arraignments and when we take guilty pleas, for example. That means we see a lot of tattoos, and many are quite superb. I am pleased to say that I haven't seen anything like these.

While we're on the subject, here's some general information about gangs and ink.

Which reminds me: it's quite common for people on a budget to do their own tattoos. One young man in our courtroom had done a nice job, a perfect and unsmudged "2-1-5" on his throat. Which is awesome, except that he'd been shooting for his area code, which was 5-1-2, and tatt'ed himself in the mirror. No pictures, sadly, you'll have to take my word for it. But if he comes back....

And just because it's (a) on topic and (b) Halloween:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekend round-up

I'm not up for repeating the stories you've seen, so here is some crime news from the weekend that you may have missed.

First up, the "please don't look in my swag bag, you'll see my sex toys" alibi. Doesn't work.

Second: if she was going to pretend to enjoy dancing for him, can't he pretend to pay? The Feds say not.

I don't suppose they will charge him with a crime despite his obvious guilt. Because he's a bear. On ice skates. My favorite line: "It is unclear what caused the bear to attack." Do you think maybe it was strapping ice skates on his paws and then shoving him onto a frozen pond? Maybe that combined with the fact that he's a bear?

Now, how about we do some crime prevention for a change? Here's everything you need to know to stay safe in a situation that's all too common these days. From our survival experts: how do disarm a chimpanzee.

This guy has figured out how to be a victim and a perp at the same time: someone pees on his shopfront, they get a shock. Literally.

Never seen this before: jury changes its mind, after the defense lawyer has the judge ask them if "not guilty" is really their verdict. Apparently it wasn't.

And, because this is a prosecutor's blog it's only right we finish the round-up with news of a conviction. A DWI conviction. For a guy driving a La-Z-Boy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

From 60 to 12 - jury picking

So, everyone knows what a jury trial is.

It's a trial.

With a jury.


But how do those twelve lucky people get picked? Why them?

Glad you asked. Here's how it works:

Sixty people get notices in the mail saying they are required for jury service. They scratch their heads for a minute, think "Me? Again?" then follow the instructions and enter a few details about themselves online and then start asking their boss for that week off and wondering what the heck they're supposed to wear for jury duty.

On the appointed day, they show up to the courthouse and shuffle into the courtroom, looking slightly lost but grateful for the bailiff who tells them where to sit and what their juror number is. They eye the two tables of lawyers and, they correctly assume, one defendant, and wait.

The judge comes in and explains the system and everyone sits there and thinks, "Wow, he's a judge? He seems so nice." The longer he (or she) talks, the nicer he (or she) seems, and the more comfortable the jurors get. And by "comfortable" I mean "sleepy."

When the judge is done, the prosecutor and then the defense lawyer get a chance to talk. They are supposed to talk WITH jurors, not at them, but it's very interesting how some jury panels are chatty as can be, and others are not. Like lawyers, I suppose.

What do they talk about? Well, plenty but here's a few of the essentials: how a trial works, who the participants are, the rights of the defendant, and the elements of the charged crime.

Really, the bottom line and what the lawyers are trying to do, is find twelve people who will be fair. Sure, coming into the trial they may have a few preconceived biases or perhaps they lean slightly one way or the other with regard to defense/prosecution. After all, we're human and carry these biases with us. But what we ask, what the law asks, is that each juror puts those preconceived notions on hold for the duration of the trial and wait to make up their minds until they have heard all the evidence. The end game, really is to end up with twelve people who will be fair to both the prosecution and the defense. Twelve people who will follow the law that will be given them by the judge at the of the case, and who will apply the law to the facts presented during the trial.

And twelve people who will reach a verdict.

That's all.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Are writers nerds? Not these guys

Before I get to the book recommendations, a special treat. I present five authors who are tougher, meaner, badder, and cooler than the tough guys they write about.

Read about 'em and weep. Or just run away.

Okay, now to the books.


I'm going with my very favorite author, Alan Furst. Not really a crime novelist, he writes historical spy novels, all set in the years leading up to World War II. They are beautifully written and you can't help but sink into the murky world that his characters live in. And the best thing is, the main characters are not traditional spies, mostly they find themselves in situations where they have to choose between Right and, well, those dang Nazis.

What makes his books so good? The characters, simply drawn but flawd, funny, and very lifelike; the plots, which twist and turn the way life in the late 1930s must have; the settings--Paris, Prague, Warsaw... everywhere you'd want to be; and his research, which is meticulous and fascinating.

All of his books are great, but if I had to choose two I'd go with The World at Night and Red Gold. Both are set in Paris (like my own novel) and both feature Jean Casson, a film producer.


A wonderful book by Simon Winchester called The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of The Oxford English Dictionary.

Did I say Dictionary? Actually, yes. But don't worry, the book is so well-written and focuses on the murder, insanity etc stuff plenty. Trust me on this, it's a great book. The author is Simon Winchester, and if you read this you'll be pining for him to write more.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A word about last words

The Statesman recently published an interesting piece on the last words of those executed in Texas. Some memorable, most not. No one much likes to imagine, or talk about, his own departure, and who really knows whether they will leave this earth with dignity, with fury, or kicking and screaming.

When our time comes, though, it'd be nice to say something others will remember for a while, don't you think?

Here are some rather more memorable final utterings, none of them apologetic, all of them badass. So, without further ado, the badass last words of a serial killer, an Indian chief, a witch, a revolutionary and several more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Before you bash the cops

I have no idea whether law enforcement should be held to a higher standard, whether their actions should be put under a microscope and all wrong-doings judged harshly.

No idea.

We do give these guys a lot of power, I know that, and abuse should never be tolerated.

But sometimes they do all the right things and still get blasted. Sometimes, good, honest, hard-working people are doing their job the way they've been trained and then along comes someone with an agenda and a blog.

This young mother for example, who wrote a long, emotion-filled post because those nasty people at TSA (and who hasn't griped about them at some stage) took her young son away from her. They violated her rights as a mother and their own promise not to separate a parent from a child. She was beyond upset and not afraid to tell the world.

Except, it didn't happen. Certainly nothing like the way she said it did. The TSA folks even posted video of the entire incident to show what really happened.

The amazing thing, to me, is that on the TSA blog peole are still damning the security officers.

My point? Criticism is good and can be productive. But let's not jump the "law-enforcement-sucks" bandwagon until we know all the details. Doesn't seem like a lot to ask.

I say tom-ah-to, you try to stop me

So we don't file many written motions in criminal practice. Really, just a handful of the same one each time (I should post about those sometime).

This means that only important motions get put before the judge. Like this one:

And my response:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Trial schedule for this week

Just a couple of cases on the jury docket for this week:





Too many cops in Texas?

Here's a an interesting piece - comes from NPR, and I first heard it on the radio. Then I checked the website because "too many police" isn't a phrase I've heard often.

But then they mentioned "dental police." For real. I mean, aren't private gum shoes enough?

Okay, no puns. Here's the article. Brace yourself.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

They may not be crimes....

... although some of them are pretty close, if you ask me. But since these photos were taken pre-1930, I'm guessing the statute of limitations has run. Except for the old guy and the mermaid, that's illegal forever.

In criminal news - Texas and beyond

Let's start beyond. Where most people use their ATM card, these guys opted for the heavy machinery. What amazes me: no one saw them?

There's a lot of talk in the book, movie, and music world about theft of intellectual property. Nice to know someone is stealing movies the old-fashioned way. Three thousand of them.

Can a college ban cross-dressing? I mean, I know they can but is it such a problem it needs banning? (This is your token non-criminal item.)

And something to counter-act all the flippancy in this blog, an interesting story about inmates taking care of each other as the Grim Reaper draws near. Plenty of room for jokes, of course, but it's kind of touching.

If it happens in California, does it stay there? Probably not, so this discussion over marijuana will probably take place elsewhere in the months and years to come.

And while this isn't a crime it reminds me of Fatal Attraction, where several crimes were committed (stalking, attempted murder, bunny-cide....) And talking of bunnies, here's the tease: In Sweden, they're using bunny rabbits as fuel.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jury Friday

Friday is going to be jury day, partly because I like structure and knowing I need to write about the same thing every week helps, and partly because I love jury trials and think they are wonderful tools for justice (except when I lose).


Who doesn't like a good gossip? Come on, be honest. Not necessarily a mean one, maybe even a fair and analytical one, but fess up: rendering judgment on a colleague or nosy neighbor is satisfying. Almost as satisfying as passing judgment on the phone-talking, arm-waving drongo in the lane next to you, yabbering away while her turn signal indicates a desire to drive off the freeway into the concrete retaining wall.

So why is jury duty, the ultimate in passing judgment on one's fellow man, so shunned? Why do we see, on every panel, a slew of upstanding citizens doing and saying all they can to be released and sent home?

I can think of several possibilities:

1. It's an interruption, it messes with our carefully-planned and scheduled lives.

Fair enough, we do tend to live within a routine, I get that. But there's got to be more to it than that. If, for example, I dragged you away from work to present you with a check for ten grand, the interruption would be forgiven. (Unless you are a lawyer for a large, civil law firm where you earn that every day just sitting behind a desk.)

2. It's intimidating because we don't know what's expected of us, or how long it'll be expected of us (whatever it is).

Maybe. But that's why we have Law & Order, to teach us how the process works, right? Okay, not really. Jury service is certainly an unknown -- you could be hearing a traffic ticket dispute, a fight between two corporations over intellectual property, or a murder case. But that's more like a Christmas stocking filled with surprises than a sack of snakes on your doorstep. Isn't it? And once you have rearranged your schedule and are here, wouldn't you want to stay? After all, if you do watch Law & Order, you'll probably find it pretty interesting. (see point 4., below)

3. We just don't care.

This one I refuse to believe, though several fellow lawyers have mentioned it as a possibility. I don't believe it because EVERY jury I have had, every single one of them, has taken the case incredibly seriously. I have never seen a rushed decision, a flippant attitude, or a coin-flip for a decision. Quite the opposite, I've seen jurors take cases very personally. And I saw twelve people sit stony-faced as they heard a prosecutor promise "hard evidence" and a "blow-by-blow" account of a transvestite prostitute's offenses. Seriously, not a giggle amongst them.

4. It'll be boring.

Several people in my informal poll came up with this one. I don't think, though, that anyone coming to a felony courtroom will expect to be bored. In fact, I suspect they might actually BE bored on occasion - it really isn't like Law & Order. But if you show up to felony court, you must have some expectation of a serious (and therefore interesting) case. And yet, at that late stage, people still try to get out of it...

More questions than not answers, sorry. But if you want to know why being on a jury makes you awesome, check back next week. I got THAT scoop.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thriller Thursday

Every Thursday I give two crime-related book recommendations, one fiction and one non-fiction. And the debut selections are:


First up is SKIN RIVER by thriller writer Steven Sidor.

Here's the plot:
Buddy Bayes, a man with a shadowy past is trying desperately for a second chance at a peaceful life as a tavern owner in small-town Gunnar, Wisconsin. But just as things are beginning to look up, he stumbles across the severed hand of a missing girl in a nearby river. Soon he’s back in the sheriff’s radar and is forced to hide his past and protect his loved ones as carnage ensues.

My opinion:
Sidor can write. It's hard, fast, and gritty. If you like "cozy" mysteries this may not be your cup of tea but I'd still encourage you to give it a try. He has a way of summing up a person or atmosphere in just a few, perfect words.

Other opinions:
"SKIN RIVER is an incredible debut-unforgettable, spellbinding, and darkly suspenseful. Steven Sidor must have sold his soul to the devil to write this well."-Steve Hamilton, author of ICE RUN

"Skin River is a sharp, breathless upcountry thriller. Steven Sidor keeps the pacing piano-wire taut and selects his words with a vivisectionist's diabolical care."-Stewart O'Nan, author of THE NIGHT COUNTRY

Sidor's debut novel maintains the tension throughout as the serial killer continues to thwart and taunt investigators.... Exquisitely plotted, with a well-realized main character.
From Booklist
Connie FletcherCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


My first selection, although not very original, just has to be IN COLD BLOOD.

The first, the best, simply a classic.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In the news

Just so you know, the law doesn't much care that it's a replica gun. (The Statesman)

R.I.P. Judge Justice (yes, that was his real name). (Houston Chronicle)

And you can't have missed this: kidnap victim Jaycee Dugard has spoken publicly for the first time since she was rescued. (BBC)

And in slightly odder news, what do Malaysia and Alabama have in common (apart from lots of "a"s)? Well, when it comes to discipline they like to go corporal, though one prefers the paddle while the other opts for the cane. And people makes jokes about Texas justice. Shame on them all.

Law and The Art of Communication

I try to be clear when I talk to the judge, the jury, and to witnesses, as do my colleagues in the defense bar. But clarity comes in different forms. Sometimes it comes with the answer as I learned in a hearing recently:

Prosecutor: Were you smoking dope that night?
Witness: What was that?
Prosecutor: Were you smoking dope that night?
Witness [outraged]: No, I wasn't smoking dope. [Pause.] I was smoking weed.

... and sometimes, it comes with the question....

Defense Atty: What is your relationship to the defendant?
(Female) Witness: Boyfriend.
Defense Atty: Okay.
Witness: Girlfriend.
Defense Atty: And do you-all have children together?
Witness: Yes, ma'am, three or four.
Defense Atty: Okay. Three or four?
Witness: Four.

Glad we got that sorted out. Finally.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In the news....

The woman in front of me on Fifth Street cut into the line of traffic, then pulled out her blackberry and got busy. I was waiting for her to light a cigarette and pour herself a drink. This texting ban is for you, ma'am. (The Statesman)

Thank heavens for DNA--now we can catch the bad guys from the good old days. (CNN)

“Inappropriate behavior with our students will never be tolerated or overlooked.” I guess "inappropriate" is one word for it. (Houston Chronicle)

And sometimes, the authorities can get a little over-excited about protecting the children. Not in Texas, of course. In England. (BBC)

Tips from the DA's office:

1. If you get into an accident and drive away, you could be charged with a felony.

2. If you DO get into a accident and decide to drive away, you might want to check to see if your front license plate came off in the crash. Police generally consider it helpful evidence when they are looking for you.

Maybe that's what they mean by Karma?

Monday, October 12, 2009

An ADA's case load

The weekend before an important arson trial, a friend asked me: "So is that your only case, or do you have a couple more that you have to put on hold?"

I looked for some water so I could do a spit-take. My only case? What is this, civil law?!

My court currently has about 360 pending cases. As I've explained before, we have four prosecutors in each court, which means that I have roughly 120 cases on my docket right now.

Sound like a lot? It is. And if you think the wheels of justice grind slowly, you can blame me. Anyway, my friend also asked what kind of cases I have, what the breakdown is. I honestly don't know, not to any degree of scientific certainty, but I'll hazard a guess. My docket may not be typical of the DA's Office, just because I do all my court's DWI-related offenses, whereas in most courts those are shared around. But here's a guess as to how my docket shapes up:

DWI:* 20%
Aggravated assault: 15%
Drugs: 30%
Burglary: 8%
Theft: 10%
Robbery: 7%
Assault on peace officer/public official: 2%
Arson: 1%
Sexual assault: 1%
Murder (I have two of these right now): 1%

Yes, I know this adds up to 95%, but I'm a lawyer, not a mathematician.

*A DWI conviction is a felony when it's your third (or more) or if you are found guilty of DWI when you have a child passenger.










A thousand DWI convictions undone

This mess is going to generate some paperwork.

In case you didn't know, your first DWI conviction is a Class B misdemeanor, your second is a Class A, and your third is a Third Degree Felony. So imagine being convicted of a second or third DWI offense, but one of these was your first. A lot of paperwork for a lot of lawyers.

Who We Are, What We Do, and How We Do It


We are lawyers, paralegals, investigators, victim support, and admin staff. I could take the time to explain the set up, or I could link you to the official site. Guess which I'm doing....


I thought I'd start by giving you a quick look at how the D.A.'s office handles a typical case. No two cases, or defendants (or prosecutors, for that matter) are alike but the mechanics of the process are, hopefully, consistent throughout the office.

The first step is for a file to land on the desk of an intake prosecutor, an ADA assigned to the Grand Jury Division. That prosecutor will read the offense report (a detailed report of the incident written by one or more police officers) and the probable cause affidavit (the "PC Affidavit," upon which the arrest is made and the charge filed) to ascertain which, if any, crime has been committed. She (I'll use "she" because my court's intake prosecutor is a she) will then draft the indictment. This will contain all of the elements of the crime: the date, the place, the victim (if any) and the illegal act. If even one of those essential elements is left out, the indictment, and the case, could be dismissed.

She next presents the indictment to the Grand Jury, twelve ordinary citizens, and they will decide if there is enough evidence to go to trial. If so, they vote to indict, if not, the case is "no-billed." This basically means all charges are dropped. Sometimes, if new information comes in, we can seek to reindict but in practice it usually means the case is dead and buried.

The Second Step, once the case is indicted, is for the file to arrive on the desk of my chief. She will then assign the case to one of the four (including herself) assistant district attorneys - ADAs - in the court.

The Third Step is for the ADA handling the case to review it in order to make a recommendation, or "rec." This is a plea bargain offer that the defense lawyer will take to his client.

In making my recs, I am most interested in the following (not in any particular order):-- the crime charged and the facts of the crime itself (not all thefts/assaults/arsons are equally heinous);
-- the impact on (and wishes of) the victim;
-- the defendant's criminal history;
-- the age of the defendant;
-- the strength of the case, in terms of whether I think I can win at trial.

There are some cases that will, very often, need more information before being pled out, though I can usually make an initial rec based on the following:

· Any crime of violence will absolutely require input from the victim. That's easier said than done, sometimes, and I'll blog about it another time. For the inital rec I assume that I have a cooperative victim or victim's family;
· DWIs will almost always need me to look at the video. By "the video" I mean the recording from the officer's patrol car. If they do it right, and they usually do, they position their car so the camera in the windshield captures the individual doing the field sobriety tests. Microphones on the officer's uniform pick up any conversation. For the inital rec, and before I see the video, I assume that the video shows that the defendant is intoxicated;
· Drug cases will sometimes, not always, have a chemist's report already in the file. This report summarizes the kind of drug found on the defendant, and the amount. If there isn't one and the defendant contests either the amount or type of drug found, I can get one within a few days.

I will write the initial rec on the front of the file, which will then be put away until the next court setting for that case.

The Fourth Step is that court setting. There, the defendant's lawyer will review the file, including the indictment and the PC affidavit, and make a note of the rec. We will talk about the case and he will present the rec to his client. At some point, now or later, he will present his defense in an attempt to improve my offer, or possibly persuade me to dismiss the case altogether. There then follows a period of negotiation, which can last days, weeks, or even months.

Eventually, one of three things will happen:

1. The defendant will plead guilty to the charge alleged or a lesser version,
2. the case will go to trial, or
3. I will dismiss the case.

And that is probably the order of frequency.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The 7 Deadly Sins - on a map!

So where in America should you go if you are a glutton? Or if you're of those coveting types? If you're too lazy to figure it out (sloth!) don't worry because the boffins at Kansas State have figured it out for you. And put it on a map.

Here they are, courtesy of Wired Magazine, the 7 deadly sins in America.


Welcome to D.A. Confidential, the personal blog of a Travis County Assistant District Attorney.

My original plan was to blog about the secrets that haunt the halls of the D.A.'s office, to reveal the intrigues that torment the unknowing and entertain the cogniscenti, but never leak from the airtight offices.

But then I remembered how much I love my job.

So, if you want salacious gossip, go here. If, on the other hand, you can stand to know a little about what we do as prosecutors, jump in.

Written to inform, educate, and entertain, I intend to:
  • let you know about upcoming trials every week
  • discuss and link to all kinds of crime-related news
  • talk about how the criminal justice system works in Texas
  • poke fun at one dumb criminal every week
  • include posts and links relating to crime in literature

And I'll also throw in some fascinating facts and link to interesting news stories from all over the globe.


* This is NOT an official Blog of the Travis County DA's office.
* Due to privacy concerns, I am only able to discuss the facts of any particular case that are already in the public domain, either through publicly filed documents or in-court testimony.

Please feel free to comment, ask questions, and come back often.