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The Painful Truth....

Last week my best friend turned 50 (we were born and raised here in Tarrant County, Texas). We both graduated from C.F. Brewer High School on the west side of Fort Worth. It was great to actually catch up and spend some time with classmates at her party that I generally never get to see. One of them leaned over and asked me, "Mimi, do the judges of Tarrant County try to help people?"  I looked at her, everyone at the table in eager anticipation, and had an answer they did not expect to hear. Here is the truth, if you can't fall asleep in a parked car in a parking lot in order to avoid a DWI, the county has big issues. I would not say that those judges are trying to help people. I would say the exact opposite. They are sending a message that it is better to risk trying to make it home because if you do the responsible thing and not drive you will be convicted.  I have had juries say Not Guilty in these circumstances. This is because the law does not define "operate a motor vehicle."  This is exactly what people should do versus drive intoxicated. Yet, just last week I had this exact case (the cop even testified my client was doing nothing illegal to draw his attention) and yet a Tarrant County judge denied the motion to suppress essentially finding her guilty.   Unfortunately this is not the first time I have had these set of facts and the same results with judges.  It is very frustrating.  Sure there are great judges in Tarrant County, but go to the clerk's office and get the statistics. The records prove that most judges deny motions to suppress in Tarrant County (my office generally only files them when we are confident that the law and facts are on our side). It is rare that a case is ever thrown out in Tarrant County by a judge based on a defense lawyer's motion to suppress. Yet, motions to suppress are routinely granted by judges in other Texas counties.  Stats don't lie.   I attended a retirement reception of Dallas Judge Jeffrey Rosenfield last Friday afternoon. With tears in his eyes, he said "I am so scared for the future of this country. Our rights continue to be eroded. One day, we won't have any left."  Come to Tarrant County as a visiting judge, Judge Rosenfield and you will really be disappointed in what you see around you. We need your courage to follow the law and protect rights even when that means some people walk free.  Compassion at sentencing is not what makes a great judge (although very important). Even executioners allow the damned a final meal. It is the courage to do the right thing, despite it not being politically expedient. It was Ben Franklin that said, "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."


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