Skattershooting by taking notes over the past
month . . .
Federal prosecutors (those representing the United
States in Federal Court) have increasingly sought the death penalty under
the George W. Bush administration. Get this: Of the last 16 trials where
they have sought the death penalty, only one defendant has received it.
David Clyde, the 18 year old pitching phenom of
the Texas Rangers in 1973, was drafted in the first round. His contract
that year? A $62,500 signing bonus and a $22,000 a year salary.
Alex Rodriguez received a $100,000 bonus for making
the All Star team this year.
Did you see that Dennis Miller got to ride in
Air Force One?
News from last month: "Norma McCorvey (the Roe
of Roe v. Wade) will hold a news conference in Dallas today, at which
she's expected to announce her petition to reopen the 'Roe versus Wade'
case. A statement issued in advance of the news conference says McCorvey
would then move for the high-court decision to vacate its 1973 ruling.
The statement says the filing would be is based on changes in law and facts
since the high court handed down its decision 30 years ago. It says that
since McCorvey was a party to the original litigation, she can petition
the court to reopen the case." You don't get to have a "do over" in litigation.
The Supreme Court ruled last month that there
are limits on when the government can forcibly medicate mentally ill criminal
defendants to make them well enough to stand trial for fraud or other charges.
Who would have thought they could do it at all?
Normally, nominees for federal judgeships who
appear before the senate judiciary committee are scared to speak their
mind. Not so for current nominee Bill Pryor: "I believe that not only is
[Roe] unsupported by the text and structure of the Constitution,
but it has led to a morally wrong result . . . the slaughter of million
of innocent unborn child." He can kiss the job good-bye.
Did you see that "Cadet Killer" Diane Zamora last
month married (from her jail cell) another inmate named Steven Mora . That
makes her Diane Zamora-Mora.
Federal prosecutors last month indicted
a couple of folks in Fort Worth for selling a movie that "depicted a rape
scene". The defense lawyer admitted it was a sexually oriented film but
called it freedom of speech. That made me think. Don't the movies oftentimes
depict scenes of illegal activity? Murder and drug use, for example.
Tiger Woods in a slump? His streak of "making
the cut" is now at 105. The person in second, Ernie Els, has recorded 20
in a row.
Here's an odd one: A couple, Debbie and Stacy
Hacker, who were charged with fraud in Rockwall County (of bilking investors
out of $235,000) had been offered probation with a small amount of jail
time as a condition of the probation. Their response? They were found dead
via carbon monoxide poisoning on their garage floor along with a suicide
note. (Dallas Morning News 6/20/03 at p. 3B.)
Nextel will become the new title sponsor for NASCAR
having signed a 10 year deal for an estimated $70 to $75 million. That's
Here's a touchy subject: An article
published in USA Today entitled "Studies shatter myth about abuse"said
"It is not just men who hit women. Women hit men, too. And the latest research
shows that ignoring the role women play in domestic violence does both
women and men a disservice."
So the Tulia defendants were released from jail?
Get this: "Christopher Eugene Jackson, 31, was arrested Friday morning
after the police officer said Jackson punched him, evaded arrest and was
intoxicated in public. Four days earlier, Jackson and 11 others were freed
after a bail hearing in Swisher County. During the hearing, retired state
District Judge Ron Chapman urged the 12 to avoid run-ins with the law.
Jackson's attorney, Mitch Zamoff, said his client has a heart condition
that causes him to occasionally black out and act irrationally and could
explain his client's behavior."
Over the 4th of July we were bombarded with public
service ads that said "You drink. You drive. You go to jail." Technically,
that is incorrect. It should read "You drink. You become intoxicated.
You drive. You go to jail." I say "technically" because if you get caught
driving with alcohol on your breath these days you are going to jail despite
what the law says.
No one seemed to understand the Chante Mallard
windshield murder case. She was not tried for intentionally killing another
human being. Instead she was charged with the seldom used law of "felony
murder". That law says you are guilt of murder if a person "commits . .
. [any] felony . . . and . . . in the immediate flight from the commission
[of the felony] . . . he commits . . . and act clearly dangerous to human
life that causes the death of an individual". In this case, the "felony"
was failing to stop and render aid and the "act clearly dangerous to human
life" was driving home with a guy in your windshield. All that talk about
her wanting to kill him was irrelevant.
By the way, am I the only one who thought 50 years
in the Mallard case was about 40 years too much?
Ranger/Stars owner Tom Hick's home is 24,000 square
feet and on the tax rolls for $24 million.
Baseball note: "Reliever Aaron Fultz was unavailable
for Wednesday's game after colliding with the outfield wall during batting
practice." He's a pitcher!
Three weeks ago I jotted down this note to put
in Skattershooting: "Baylor Center Patrick Dennehy is missing." Boy, was
that an understatement.
Howard Dean is the leading Democratic candidate
for President. A couple of weeks ago I found out that his son had been
arrested for burglary. Want to know where I read it? On Dean's own web
site. I kinda like that.
Dean, by the way, lead all Democratic nominees
in fundraising for the second quarter of 2003 with $7.5 million. President
Bush did just a tiny bit better: $34.2 million.
So there is a "cease fire" in Israel? Can I place
a bet anywhere on that?
There have been a ton of high profile deaths lately.
Katharine Hepburn, Buddy Hackett, David Brinkley, Gregory Peck, Buddy Ebsen,
and Barry White.
What was noted (and murdered) funeral director
Gregory Wayne Spencer doing in a hotel in Arlington?
Dallas assistant DA Toby Shook "who has tried
5 death penalty cases in the last 23 months" won the National District
Attorneys Association's "Home Run Hitters Club" Award for winning the death
penalty in all five cases. That sounds a bit morbid.
Texas is a big football state. Take a look at
the number of "Virginia" schools that finished in college football's top
25 last year: 18. Virginia Tech Hokies (10-4) 22. Virginia Cavaliers
(9-5) 25. West Virginia Mountaineers (9-4)
I actually get feedback from some relatively famous
people I write about. I have received emails from Scott Sams (I called
him "smug") and Jim Shutze (he writes for the Dallas Observer), and a
phone call from Heather Hay's sister.
From Justin to Kelly only grossed $2.1
million in its opening weekend, finishing outside of the top 10.
The public isn't as dumb as we think.
Soledad O'Brien (who I think is hot) is moving
from NBC to CNN.
Did you see that the Dallas Morning News is now
publishing gay "unions" on its wedding page?
There seems to be a growing number of ads for
Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. Give me a break.
Speaking of the windshield murder case, the July
4th edition of the Star-Telegram ran this story: "Brandon Biggs talks about
his father's death, Chante Mallard's trial, his upcoming engagement and,
most of all, forgiveness." How about explaining why your dad was homeless?
I actually got an answer to that question on 7/7/03
when he appeared on Larry King Live: "There's nothing I could have
done about that. I'm much too young of a man to support someone else."
Pete Samprass won Wimbledon 7 times. Quick. Name
the finalists this year.
Bill O'Reilly of The O'Reilly Factor said this
of George Bush on 7/8/03: George Bush possibly lied about WMD but unless
there is "unrefutable" proof of this, it is "irresponsible" for the media
to say he "lied".
Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976,
the government of Texas has executed 306 people. What is shocking is that
over 100 of those executions have occurred over the last three years alone.
(It took 24 years to execute the first 200 people)
Did you see that Nike is buying Converse for $305
One of the funniest things I've seen lately is
Pittsburg Pirate Randall Simon hit the sausage mascot with a bat during
a "sausage race". The dumbest thing said about it came from Milwaukee Brewer's
VP Rick Schlesinger: "This is one of the most outrageous things I've ever
seen inside a ballpark or outside a ballpark. It sickened me to see it."
And now for movie reviews in a nutshell . . .
Braveheart: OK, I finally got around to
renting it. The review: Great. A slow first 30 minutes and then it gets
good. Very good.
Minority Report: Not bad. Makes a criminal
justice kinda guy think.
The Matrix: (the first one): I have no
idea what the plot was but it sure has some cool fight scenes.
AutoFocus: The life of Bob Crane wasn't
nearly as crazy as I expected.
Run Lola Run: A German film that got great
reviews. Now I know why.
Happiness: This will offend 99 out of every
100 viewers and deals with subject matters never before seen on the big
screen. (Two of the cast members of The Practice have major roles).
Green served as District Attorney for Wise and Jack Counties from 1993
through 2000. He is now a partner in the Decatur law firm of Smith
& Green, P.C. and is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the
Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
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