He was tall, handsome, and raised in a religious house. As a youth he worked in his father’s grocery store. He was a star athlete at Farmersville high school in Denton, a Texas state record holder in the hurdles. He pledged Pi Kappa Alpha at UNT. And if he hadn’t hitchhiked down Sunset Blvd. in the summer of 1968, he might never have met Charlie Manson. His name is Charles “Tex” Watson, and 50 years ago today, he began a mission of murder called “Helter Skelter.”
August 3rd began like most Saturdays do for me. I slept in a little, planned the day with my wife over coffee, and readied myself for some soon-to-be-played pickup basketball with a prayer not to get injured and a preemptive Advil. First, though, I had to get the groceries for the week. I made it to my local Wal-Mart at about 10:30. Saturday errands like that are woven into the fabric of our lives. I don’t know the exact number of folks who did the same as me, but I bet it was just about everyone we know.
Tedx is coming to Frisco! What is a Ted Event? It’s a series of Ted talks addressing a variety of topics seeking to build consensus and outside-the-box thinking.
It is not a sales pitch, marketing conference or political gathering. The talks are concise – no more than 18 minutes, and are given by diverse speakers across several disciplines.
Which topics? That depends on YOU. You can nominate anyone – including yourself. The sky is the limit. Click Here and Submit your topic today! If you have any questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Open Letter to the 2021 Texas Legislature
I watched the 2019 legislature with great hope, convinced that the bipartisan call for meaningful bail reform in Texas would finally be answered. Ultimately, however, it was not. As such, I offer this open letter to 2021 lawmakers addressing why we need bail reform, and how to do it.
In Congress, July 4, 1776.
The text of our Declaration of Independence in full. Some of the most powerful words ever written. Happy Independence Day.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
James Scandirito Senior, 74, was reported missing on April 1st, 2018. His son, James Scandirito Junior, said that he last saw his father the previous night. It turns out that Junior actually dismembered his father and hid his body. Was it murder or panic? Read More
In South Carolina, Timothy Jones Jr. was convicted and sentenced to death for murdering his 5 children, ranging in age from 1 to 8. He plead not guilty by reason of insanity. Let’s discuss this case and the insanity defense in Texas. Read More
The most common response I get on the campaign trail when I tell folks I am running for the Court of Criminal Appeals is, “Congratulations! … What’s the Court of Criminal Appeals?” The short answer is that it’s the Supreme Court for all criminal cases in Texas. Below, we’ll discuss a little about how cases wind up there, the history of the court, and a unique type of case the court automatically hears.
TWO words best sum up my thoughts on Wednesday’s Campaign kickoff party: Humbled and Grateful.
The Campaign Kickoff crowd at St. Pete’s Dancing Marlin
I am humbled because my supporters come from places you might not expect: lawyers I battled against in trial; lawyers I’ve ruled against as a Judge; retired lawyers; lawyers who don’t have cases pending in my court; lawyers who fought hard against each other in trial in my court; Judges who heard cases I tried; Judges from courts that don’t have anything to do with criminal law; Retired Judges; community activists; probation officers; public defenders; appellate practitioners; current and former prosecutors.