Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Looks like Commissioner JoAnn Hampton may cop a plea

Hey, faithful readers, please go to the new blog to read and comment on this article: https://smithcountytexas.blogspot.com/2017/07/looks-like-commissioner-joann-hampton.html

This is definitely not a surprise:
I hate how our criminal justice system works.  Something like 90 percent of all criminal cases are disposed by pre-trial agreements.  For public officials like JoAnn Hampton and Joel Baker, it means that they get a slap on the wrist.  And the embarrassing details of why they were prosecuted for a crime in the first place never see the light of day in open court.
With less fortunate defendants, it means that even those who are innocent are forced to plea guilty to avoid having to wait in jail until their court date if they cannot post bail.  Harris County is now dealing with a crisis involving HUNDREDS of defendants who were falsely accused of drug possession on the basis of false-positive results of unreliable field testing kits.  Many of those individuals are now having to live with a criminal (drug) record and cannot afford to seek exoneration.
On the other hand, the cast of characters here is in itself somewhat amusing.  First you have clownishioner JoAnn Hampton herself, the star of the show:

Source:  Smith County Jail

And currently the case is in the 241st District Court, which is Judge Jack Skeen, Jr., who's also on my "Ten Worst Politicians" list:
Judge Jack Skeen, AKA "Junior"
And then we have Mrs. Hampton's attorney, Clifton Roberson:

Attorney Clifton Roberson

I thought the name was familiar.  Back in 2013 Roberson got into a tiff with District Judge Christi Kennedy.  Roberson was a no-show at an afternoon hearing for a burglary defendant.  Roberson claimed that he had notified Kennedy's colleague, Jack Skeen and a member of Kennedy's staff that he had to go to a local hospital to be with his family at his aunt's deathbed.  Kennedy ordered that bailiffs locate Roberson and haul him back to court in handcuffs.  The humiliated Roberson threatened to file a grievance, but apparently nothing ever came of that. (There just HAS to be more to the story!)
On a more serious note, in 2004 Roberson had to go to court and defend his representation of a capital murder defendant who was convicted in 2002.  On appeal, the defendant claimed he got inadequate representation by Roberson and co-counsel Brandon Baade.  The case went all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court and the conviction was upheld.
Fun, fun!  Can't wait for the show to start!

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