By: Jacquelyn CarpenterRecently, Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos was challenged in an interview by the Defenders at the Channel 11 News (See Mark Greenblatt Interview of Pat Lykos). The problem: a small increase in no bills from one year to the next. Excuse me, but I do not see how this is the fault of Pat Lykos. The Grand Jury consists of citizens outside, but not to the exclusion of, the legal field. Those citizens, not Lykos and not any of her Assistant District Attorneys, decide whether the case has sufficient probable cause to take the case to trial. So why is Lykos at fault?
It would appear that those pointing the finger at Lykos believe she is at fault because the prosecutors are untrained, or otherwise lacking some skill of persuasion, to get this group of citizens to agree with them. There is an accusation that Lykos is responsible because the prosecutors presenting the case do not know how to present it correctly. And who is judging the presentation of the case? From what I can tell, no one with any firsthand knowledge AND legal (lawyer) training. An officer who investigated and thought that his evidence was sufficient says that the prosecutor could have held the case until they got more evidence. In the circumstance presented in the video, the Grand Jury did not true bill because there was no eyewitness. If that be the case, then why not wait in your investigation, Mr. Officer, to send the case to the prosecutor until you have an eyewitness? By the way, you should apply this line of reasoning to all cases. Let’s see how many people commit murder in the presence of an eyewitness.
This is one of the most obtuse lines of reasoning I have heard in a while. Now, people who are not attorneys want to weigh in and say, essentially, because they did not get what they wanted that someone screwed up or that justice was not served. What is justice anyway? Is it paying attorneys’ fees for a crime you did not commit? Is it waiting in jail with no ability to bond out for months that add up to years? Is it losing your job, house, and family while waiting to finally have your day in court? If that is justice, how dare a Grand Jury prevent “justice” from taking place (while depriving an accused of his freedom at the cost of the taxpayer in the meantime)?