Well at least we now know what the Texas Tenth Court of Appeals in Waco gave up for Lent. It took a vow of silence.
Forty-three days into Lent, Boss Appeals Judge Tom Gray and his loyal bunnies Rex (Davis) and Al (Scoggins) have yet to rule on a writ filed by Dallas lawyer Clint Broden in December 2016.
Broden’s writ is analogous to a motion filed by Assistant United States Attorney Eric Fuchs in the racketeering case against former Bandidos Motorcycle Club president Jeff Pike. Almost a year into that case, and dog years into the underlying investi- gation, Fuchs found two witnesses against Pike whom he alleged had once been advised by Pike’s lawyer, Kent Schaffer. Fuchs argued that Schaffer could not cross examine his former clients. To do so would violate the lofty moral standards for which lawyers have always been famous. So U.S. District Judge David Ezra ruled Schaffer had to go and the result of that was to further delay Pike’s day in court.
Parenthetically, there is an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weenie connection between the federal Bandidos case and the state Twin Peaks case. On March 29, McLennan County District Attorney Abelino Reyna filed an official federal excuse for not trying any of the men and women he personally ordered arrested on May 18, 2015 after what is now commonly referred to as The Battle of Twin Peaks, The Bloodiest Biker Brawl in American History That Led To The Arrest Of 177 Criminal Gang Members: How One Crusading District Attorney Dared To Take Them On!!! Reyna told the court that he had heard from United States Attorney for the Western District of Texas, Richard L. Durbin, Jr., who had heard from his loyal bunny Eric Fuchs, “that the federal investigation has information which relates to the events at Twin Peaks in Waco, Texas on May 17, 2015.” So, in the interest of fairness and justice Kim Jong-un style, Reyan has suggested that none of the, at present, 192 Waco defendants can be tried until after Jeff Pike, and after whichever former Bandidos prospects happen to be appended to the case in the coming decades, are tried. It is an absurdly Zenonian rationale for a massive local, state and federal coverup.
Broden’s idea was to take a machete to this knot of sophistry, innuendo and propaganda by removing Reyna and his assistants from the Twin Peaks case and replacing them with a special prosecutor.
Reyna and his assistants participated in the “investigation” that preceded any of the Twin Peaks arrests.
During the mostly secret, early evening spin and strategy session that followed The Battle, The Crusading District Attorney unilaterally established – either off the top of his head based on the knowledge and experience he gained from watching every episode of The Devils Ride or with the assistance of federal authorities, you make the call – the criterions for arrest. Then Reyna coerced a local detective into perjuring himself when he signed the probable cause statements for each of the arrestees. And, then Reyna went on television and jabbered like a monkey in a monkey tree that if the innocent victims he had had arrested were really innocent he wouldn’t have ordered their arrest.
Broden announced that he intended to examine Reyna and his assistants about their part in telling police who to arrest and moved that a lower court remove Reyna because, among other reasons, he would have a conflict of interest as both a prosecutor and a witness. If it worked for Schaffer why shouldn’t it work for Reyna? But District Judge Matt Johnson – who, in another amazing coincidence, was partners in law with Reyna – ruled against Broden and another defense attorney named Abigail Anastasio who had filed a similar motion.
Then Broden filed his appeal and argued his case before the bunnies on Ash Wednesday.
The bunnies were almost cruel to Broden. They wanted to know if there really was a line between prosecutorial misconduct and just damned good public service, and if there was a line where it was and what case defined it and what law book contained that case and so on. Harmon lectured Broden that “The DA has broad-sweeping authorities and powers.” He didn’t say if those powers have any limit and if so what those limits are and what case established those limits.
They were able to paint Broden into a corner because most rulings concerning “prosecutorial discretion” involve cases where prosecutors have failed to charge a Klansman or a crooked politician. A smaller body of law exists to describe the prosecutorial limits of vertical and horizontal overcharging. But there doesn’t seem to be any law to describe the fantastical thing Reyna did: Which was to say that since somebody who had a piece of cloth on his person may have committed a crime, everybody who had a similar piece of cloth on his person probably committed the same crime.
Since the hearing the appeals court has become our Lady of Silences calm and distressed. The real beginning of spring comes this Sunday but nothing has changed over the years so nothing will be reborn. The glee you hear this weekend will come from children. The men who run things in Waco will all be exercising their right to remain silent.