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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Earle V Delay: Hubris And Ham Sandwiches

If you need some background on Earle V. Delay, go here. To set the mood for what is essentially a pretty stupid chain of events, see Tommy of Striving For Average on Ham Sandwiches.

Now on to current news: Delay's lawyer DeGuerin has subpoenaed Earle and two legal flunkies (contracts to lunkies) after filing a motion to dismiss the indictment on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct. The Guardian:
The subpoena for Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, filed in Austin, asked that the prosecutor and two of his assistants appear in court to explain their conduct.
Dick DeGuerin, DeLay's attorney, also asked that grand jurors be released from their secrecy oath so they could answer questions about the prosecutor's conduct.

DeGuerin wants Earle to answer 12 questions about conversations he had with grand jurors, including whether the prosecutor became angry when a grand jury decided against an indictment of DeLay and why the decision was not publicly released.

He also wants to know the details of Earle's conversation with William Gibson, foreman of a grand jury that indicted DeLay on conspiracy charges and whose term has since ended.
For more quotes from the letter, see Powerline which got a copy from the Delay office:
Since it appears you have already violated the grand jury secrecy laws (by discussing pending grand jury matters with citizens who were no longer serving as grand jurors and by encouraging form Grand Jury Foreman William Gibson to speak to the press) your answers to questions about those conversations are not protected. Foreman William Gibson's extensive public discussion of the case, which he says you approved, has already revealed information about Grand Jury deliberations. The media has reported several conversations with grand jurors on these matters; thus you should not hide behind the grand jury secrecy law.
I also remind you and your staff to preserve all documents and avoid any conversations among yourselves or with the other potential witnesses that might interfere with our quest for the truth. Needless to say, our allegation of prosecutorial misconduct concerns due process and fairness for the accused. I can think of no particularized need that is of more importance in our system of criminal justice.
Ha ha ha! Suddenly the ham sandwich has started to play a game of chicken. We will see, but I don't think our dear Earle of Democratic Righteousness is going to get out of this one without having a few feathers of righteousness plucked rudely from his rump. DeGuerin's letter imparts in a chatty fashion that he has every intention of filing more motions. No word on whether Earle's film crew will be at the deposition. Earle can try to have the subpoena quashed, so watch the headlines. Somehow I don't think the NY Times is going to feature much about this, so foreign and Texas newspapers might be the best bet.

The thing is, I'm not really fond of Delay. I don't know much about him, but his comment about all the fat being cut out of the budget did not predispose me in his favor. Earle, on the other hand, appears to be self-righteous prig. So this, for me, is like watching a wild boar fight an alligator. I'm enjoying it, but there is also an important legal principle at stake, which is that if Earle did use the criminal justice system to pursue a vendetta he deserves to be censured.

From reading the letter, I would place my bets on the subpoena being quashed. It looks like it is fishing.
We'll see.
yeah, with the new attack ads, I know it is just a bunch of crap. DeLay will do anything. It is really sad that he is an elected representive.
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