Monday, March 26, 2012

TRACE IS THE CASE FOR THE DA RACE

How the Harris County District Attorney's Office ought to handle folks charged with POSSESSION of trace amounts of illegal drugs has become a defining issue in the Republican primary race for DA.

Challenger Mike Anderson appears to support the position that if an individual is found to merely possess “small amounts” of a controlled substance that individual needs to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

The incumbent DA, Pat Lykos , does not consider the mere possession of trace amounts of a controlled substance an issue worthy of prosecution. She argues that legislative intent allows for a DA to exercise sound judgment and discretion when considering how best to allocate available resources to fight crime…………..common sense over intolerance.

Imagine if a triage officer in charge of an Afghanistan MASH unit tied up the surgical suites with splinter extractions while US Marines bled out from IED blasts waiting for a surgical evaluation.

The differing positions came to a crescendo at a recent Republican luncheon when Mike Anderson asked Pat Lykos if possession of a small amount of cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine was against the law and she answered that it was not. That brief snippet of their debate was posted on a political blog for viewer comment. …………..not only was the exchange completely taken out of context thereby grossly tainting any legitimate critique; it was very strangely presented by Anderson both in format and appearance. Notwithstanding, the Lykos detractors were quick to pile on the bandwagon gleefully citing the Texas Penal Code and Lykos’ “obvious oblivion” to its contents.

Lykos is no legal scholar by a long shot and by most accounts has performed dismally overall as the elected DA of Harris County; but that does not mean Andersonian logic is sound in this dialogue.

If Anderson becomes the elected DA of Harris County my advice to all Harris County residents is to NEVER carry large bills on your person…………………………the odds that they might unknowingly be tainted with white powder is surely not worth the risk.

And for all you soccer moms pinching your kids’ ADD meds……….you’ve been warned as well.

Andersonian logic on the trace possession  issue begs the question as to whether or not an individual who tests positive on a drug screen is subject to prosecution under a zero tolerance administration.

Common sense folks.........we can't afford big government, petty policies and personal agendas to bankrupt our justice system.
Team Anderson needs to focus on winning the war; not inconsequential and even damning battles.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The argument for trace cases being a law enforcement tool reminds me of Texas licence plate holders being a proable cause tool.
Statisics have shown no increase in Harris County crime as a result of Judge Pat's trace policy in fact crime has decreased.

Anonymous said...

The DA and judges should be non-political positions based on merit and impartiality. Pat Lykos disgusts me but the more I hear about this Mike Anderson guy the less I see him as an improvement.
Where is the accountability?

Anonymous said...

We can't afford the jail houses Mr. Anderson would need for all these bullshit cases.We need cells for rapists and killers not potheads.

Anonymous said...

It's the police of Harris County that have made this an issue. Anderson wants the police to have the "tool" they need to bust drug dealers. Pop the users (those with trace amounts), get information on their dealers, plead them to treatment, go get the dealers. Since Lykos' policy has gone into effect, there's been a drop of over 500 arrests for delivery of a controlled substance (dealers being busted). A blanket policy like the current one takes away a tool and means fewer drug dealers are being arrested. I cannot argue that prosecutors have discretion--but here, discretion was eliminated and the law "eliminated" in Harris County leaving more dealers on the streets.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:06,

I thought Anderson was running for DA not police chief of Harris County.
I hope the po po don't want no driving while black to be their next "tool" request. Heaven help us if they be more brothers and sisters on the street for white boy.
You residue racists need to STFU.

Tom said...

Prosecutors have the right and the duty to exercise discretion in determining what charges to pursue. It's a matter of determining where they want to invest their resources.
Judge Lykos's decision not to take charges on trace cocaine cases -- so called dirty crack pipes -- is a legitimate exercise of that discretion.
There are 22 criminal district courts in Harris County. They have jurisdiction to try everything from mass murders to dirty crack pipe cases. Every time a dirty crack pipe case is filed, it takes cops off the street for hours to process the case. A lab tech has to analyze the evidence for drugs. The defendant is he can't post bond sits in the Harris County Jail at about $80 per day.
And if the case goes to trial, those cops get to sit in the hallway for hours on overtime waiting to testify. The lab tech has to show up. A court is tied up for a day or two trying that case rather than a case involving a violent crime.
These are the reasons that people like Judge Mike McSpadden have been arguing for years that small amounts of cocaine should be a misdemeanor.
Society will never have the resources to prosecute every violation of criminal law. One need only drive down the Katy Freeway to see that many or most people going over the speed limit aren't stopped and charged with speeding.
Elected officials such as Judge Lykos have the duty to set priorities for the use of scarce government resources. It is perfectly legitimate for her to decide that it is more in the public interest to put murderers, rapists and robbers behind bars than to use those resources on drug addicts whose only crime is to have some cocaine residue on their crack pipes.
And, in this case, she's right.

Conservative Values Count said...

Judge Pat represents leadership, vision and passion.
Judges Devon and Mike Anderson represent the rigid past.
This is 2012 and the 4th largest county in America cannot afford to have her DA cling to a rigid intolerance of a bygone era.
I say good riddance to the Blakemores and Andersons who are out of touch and no longer relevant in Harris County politics.

Anonymous said...

CVC,

Well you have a point about Allen and Eliz. Blakemore not being relevant and it says a lot about Mike and Devon Anderson being their running buddies/clients.

Anonymous said...

Inkman,
Is it just me or does your boy Mike Anderson look like he's aged about 20 years since he filed for DA?