Choose your poison:
In Houston, “Big Guy” lay dead in the street at the intersection of Travis and Anita for nearly a day on Monday. Passersby thought it curious enough to take pictures, but not curious enough to check on him or even call the authorities.
I’m with my old friend and adversary, HPD Homicide Sergeant Brian Harris, on this one: “If they just had used their cellphone to make a call instead of a picture, perhaps this man could still be alive today.”
What the hell is wrong with you people?
Meanwhile, in once-Great Britain, “Lawyers will be given financial incentives to encourage clients to plead guilty early under government reforms to legal aid but will lose money if cases go to trial.” (H/t @mrtiedt.)
It’s a scheme worthy of Texas’s worst, Senator Joan Huffman: stupid and mean. It’s a subornation of the criminal-defense bar. Lawyers are professionals, but they’re also humans, and if you give them a cash incentive to encourage their clients to waive trial, some of them will tend to do so.
Even if a particular lawyer won’t respond to this cash incentive, her indigent clients don’t know this, so every plea becomes suspect: Could she have done more? Should she have?
As an attack on the independence of the indigent-defense bar and due process, this is…revolutionary.
If the Declaration of Independence hadn’t already been written, this plan would fit in, as an indictment of the Crown, right between “For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent” and “For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences.”
Oh, wait. It’s already there:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury.