Thursday, January 24, 2008

Anatole of France Lives-4

"A grand jury's bitter backroom struggle to charge a Texas Supreme Court justice and his wife in the burning of their house burst into the open on Friday after a prosecutor who has opposed the indictments went to court and had them quashed. ... Mr. [Chuck] Rosenthal [CR], ... referred questions to his prosecutor in the case, Vic Wisner [VW], who said, 'Any claim that I stonewalled is not true.' 'We have an ethical duty to seek justice,' said Mr.. Wisner, a 24-year veteran of the office. 'And it would be unlawful, unethical and irresponsible for me to proceed with a case that I do not think has the ability to get beyond a directed verdict of acquittal, much let alone beyond a reasonable doubt. ... Although a grand jury may be guided by a prosecutor, it alone decides in secret if there is probable cause to charge someone with a crime. A petit jury then determines guilt or innocence. Dick DeGuerin [DD], a leading criminal lawyer here representing Mrs. Medina, said the accelerant was explainable because any homeowner had chemicals like mower fuel and weed defoliants in his garage. Mr. DeGuerin portrayed the Medinas as innocent victims of a 'runaway grand jury.' Mr. Ryan said the grand jury was experienced, with two lawyers and three police officers, and that at least half the members had been grand jurors multiple times", Ralph Blumenthal at http://www.nytimes.com/, 19 January 2008.

The Medina case gets worse every minute. The grand jurors should consider indicting CR and VW for obstructing their operations. DD's "explanation"of the accelerant is irrelevant to the indictment. What? The "explanation" should be reserved for DD's case in chief and presented to the petit jury. It shouldn't be able to quash an indictment. DD, one of our best local criminal defense lawyers should know that. That it was used to quash the indictment indicates: DD, CR and VW concluded the trial petit jury will disbelieve the "explanation" and convict! Under any circumstances, I think this should proceed to trial.

The (In)Justice Department called the Rocky Flats grand jury "runaway" too. So? I don't believe anything that comes out of CR's office on this one. It appears a backroom deal was struck to protect the Medinas which is blowing up on page one of the Houston Chronicle.

4 comments:

Tom Stone said...

Thank you for covering this.It is symptomatic of our country's plight,and I am not sanguine about the near term future.While a certain amount of corruption is normal and perhaps necessary for societies to function,when trust is destroyed so is the basis for a society.

Independent Accountant said...

I covered the Medina story with some reservations as it might be construed to be a "local" Houston story. I think it a "big" story as it is emblematic of the problem of prosecutorial indescretion which is nationwide.

Tom Stone said...

I appreciate your coverage,and your blog.You seem to care about our country and society deeply,and not to fear addressing subjects that many find uncomfortable.

Independent Accountant said...

Tom:
Again thanks for the kind words. Your comment reminds me of something George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, said, "2% of people think, 3% of the people think they think, and 95% would rather die than think", www.tv.com/george-bernard-shaw. I suspect the percentages today would be 0.5%, 1% and 98.5%. Political correctness and "Oprahfication" continue to turn the US into an Orwellian nightmare like that portrayed in the 2006 movie, "Idiocracy".