Last time I suggested that Diane
Zamora could possibly be convicted of the lesser included offense of "simple
murder" instead of capital murder. That theory was, however, shot down
in flames when trial judge Joe Drago refused to let the jury consider that
option - a ruling that the defense team cited as one of the cornerstones
of their appeal. With comments from the jury after the trial that their
decision "wasn't difficult", I'm sure the prosecution is now wishing that
the judge would have (hopefully) erred on the side of caution and submitted
that alternative. The conviction would be the same, and the issue would
not be the subject of an appeal. Then again, hindsight is . . .
Nothing is more frustrating to prosecutors
than the current ad campaign of Attorney General candidates promising to
be "tough on crime". (Barry Williamson is a prime example). The AG's job
is essentially one involving civil law whose only involvement in criminal
prosecution comes when a local D.A. requests his assistance. This occurs
so rarely that only 10 of the 600 lawyers in the AG's office are involved
in criminal prosecution. I'm glad the candidates are law enforcement minded,
but that fact is essentially irrelevant to the position they seek.
Monica Lewinsky's mother became
ill while testifying before Kenneth Starr's grand jury last week. As correctly
noted in the media, there is no privilege protecting a mother from revealing
the content of any private conversations she might have had with her daughter.
Nevertheless, the practice seems to do more harm than good, and most prosecutors
would never call a mother into a grand jury room for such a purpose. I
assume that Kenneth Starr's lack of practical experience excuses his transgression
into this area.
Everytime you worry about crime
in the United States, consider the constant blood bath in Algeria.
It is estimated that 65,000 have been slaughtered in that country over
the past six years. I'm no foreign affairs expert, but if I'm in charge
of this Middle East government, I start looking for oil, find it, and then
turn to the U.S. for help.
Yvonne Gonzalez, former superintendent
of Dallas I.S.D., said she accepted a 15 month federal prison sentence
to "prevent further turmoil" in Dallas public schools. Hey, you've already
stolen from the taxpayers, you needn't lie to them as well.
With the annoucement that the Dallas
Cowboys will use Wichita Falls as the site for their training camp next
August, has it dawned on Wise County residents that the parade of high
priced cars will go through Decatur via 287? Michael Irvin at Grandys?
Eric Williams at Taco Bell? The "crime rate" jokes are too easy and too
cheap. I'll pass.
Barry Green is the District Attorney
for the 271st Judicial District.
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