Articles Posted in Police

A few months ago I took Lance Platt’s SFST certification course for attorneys. We had mostly defense lawyers and some prosecutors in the room. I didn’t come into this with clean hands. My experience with DWI cases and research of these “tests” tells me they are voodoo bullshit.

I came to this conclusion because as I understood the SFST studies they lacked the markers of real science and quality research; control groups, blind studies, placebos etc. Did you know the field sobriety tests have never been tested on a large groups of individuals who have not been drinking? Or on individuals with different medical conditions? There have been exactly zero studies on gender differences, or on the effect of performing the tests under the stress to mimic the pressure of a typical roadside DWI investigation. Why?

SFST’s are agenda driven science. The feds needed a way to arrest people who had been drinking, but without any bad or impaired driving behavior. So they invented the notion that by performing 10 minutes of balancing tests you can tell if someone is over .08.

Here’s a paragraph that makes my libertarian blood boil.

So, while the initial stop itself was illegal (emphasis mine), Grijalva never went beyond the bounds of what would have been constitutionally permissible had the stop in fact been justified at its inception. Under these circumstances, applying the law, as we have explicated it in this opinion, to the undisputed facts of the case in our de novo review, we conclude that the behavior of the arresting officers, although clearly unlawful at the outset, was not so particularly purposeful and flagrant that the discovery of the appellee’s outstanding arrest warrants may not serve to break the causal connection between the illegal stop and the discovery of the ecstasy in the appellee’s pants pocket, thus purging the primary taint.

The cops acted illegally, but that’s ok. Ugh.

Today’s case of the day is Mazuca vs. State, from El Paso.

Some old news from last week, the Kemp, Texas police department is being shut down due to budgetary concerns. This isn’t the first small town Kaufman County PD officer to face massive layoffs. Last year, almost the entire Combine police force was jettisoned.

How will this affect your Kemp PD criminal case? It depends on where these officers go and if they are available to testify in the future. If not, that could present some challenges for the State. Especially for the typical “pull the car over for innocuous traffic offense, find dope” case. You have a right to confront the witnesses against you, cops included.

In the interim, KSO will take over for Kemp PD.

I recently watched the Christohper Hicthens/Tony Blair debate on whether religion is a force for good in the world. To paraphrase Mr. Hitchens; “You can expect good people do good things, and bad people do bad things. To get a good person to do a bad thing you need religion.” The idea being that one can bypass ordinary human decency and morality by stating that an act is divinely warranted.

The parallels with statism, positive law, and the War on Drugs, are evident to a front line observer of the Texas criminal justice system. The state may not claim divine authority, but it does share religion’s ability to get good people to do horrible things.

Which brings me to our appellate case of the day- Hereford vs. State.

Have a loved one stuck in the Kaufman county jail? Want to know what the charges are and how much bail is set at?

Where is the Kaufman County Jail Located?

1900 U.S. 175, Kaufman, TX 75142. If you got to 175 and 34 and take the service road East, it’s on the right, past the new Whataburger and Walmart, just keep going.

Everyone is presumed innocent even cops accused of smuggling weed. But ask yourself this, where do drug dealers get the money to bribe law enforcement? Why would a cop risk his career and freedom to help them? The answer- pot prohibition profit$.

I’m amazed at how many Texans believe the negative externalities of prohibition (corruption, inter alia) are somehow caused by the drugs, or the people selling them.

When we choose to make pot illegal, we choose the corruption of our police officers. Think about it. Drug cartels have a billion dollar monopoly on the Texas cannabis market. What’s easier than thinking up schemes to avoid getting caught and sending mules out who could get caught and lose their precious cargo?

Apparently Plano PD didn’t get the memo that 69% of Texans want some form of legalized marijuana. Otherwise, they wouldn’t waste their time with meaningless “look I found a joint!” busts.

The latest victim of our inane cannabis war is Chace Crawford. Allegedly, Chace is some sort of TV star (Gossip Girl?) who was hanging out in Plano at Ringo’s Pub when the fuzz found an “unlit joint”. I feel safer.

Remember opportunity costs? Violent crime in Plano is up over 50% from 2009. IWhat do you want Plano PD working on? Keeping Ringo’s Pub free of unlit joints? Or solving and preventing real crime (the kind with victims)?

I’ll be the first to admit that news site comments are not the highest form of debate. However, they can be a useful gauge of how some members of the public feel on an issue. So how do the conservative readers of the TT feel about cannabis prohibition?

Here is a recent news story from Terrell, Texas courtesy of the Terrell Tribune.

Marijuana growing operation discovered off Lawson Road

Asset forfeiture is a cancer on our criminal justice system. When you remove constitutional protections and allow the government to steal private property and keep the proceed, you can expect injustice every time. Here is a video from the merry band of libertarian lawyers at the Institute for Justice detailing the problems inherent in civil forfeiture laws.

Recently, Shelby County District Attorney Linda K. Russell, found herself on the working end of a civil rights lawsuit for allegedly supervising a highway robbery (asset forfeiture) scheme in which casino bound minorities where pulled over for traffic violations and then threatened with prosecution if they didn’t sign over whatever cash they had to the State.

Linda wanted to use tax dollars (and forfeiture cash) to defend her case. Fortunately, the Attorney General put Linda in the same position as the victim of asset forfeiture- Linda will have to pay for her own defense sans government funds.

What happened in Shelby county is indicative of the problems with Texas AF laws. When you combine government greed, racism, and a lack of protection/due process for defendants you get malfeasance and corruption every time.

Contact Information