Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers

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In The Media

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2016


(12/30/2016) HCCLA’s The Defender
JoAnne’s final issue of The Defender includes her article on Harris County’s Brady Violations
brady-defender-fall-2016

(12/29/2016) HCCLA’s Reasonable Doubt
Guests Earl Musick and Pat McCann discuss prosecutorial misconduct, the culture at the DA’s office, the new administration, and the David Temple case in which his conviction was vacated.

(12/20/2016) Houston Chronicle
Juveniles Being Tried as Adults More Common with Less Arrests

Juveniles as young as 14 years old can be certified as adults for any felony criminal charge, though prosecutors generally seek certification for crimes involving violence or weapons.

Once in the adult system, juveniles often fare better than adults with judges. Their cases tend to be less violent, giving them a better chance at probation or deferred adjudication, a form of probation in which the charges eventually are dismissed if the probationary term is completed without incident.

“It’s extremely common for a juvenile to get certified on an armed robbery and end up with a deferred adjudication,” said defense attorney JoAnne Musick, a board-certified expert in juvenile law. “In some ways, the kids want to be certified because then they may be able to get bail and get out. … The down side is that if they violate probation for aggravated robbery, they are looking at five years to life in prison.”

(12/20/2016) Houston Chronicle
DA Dismisses DWI for Prominent Lawyer

“Based on what (Buzbee) said, this is definitely not a diversion. If it’s not, then it is nothing but a political favor,” said JoAnne Musick, past-president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyer’s Association. “Unless (Anderson) just completely lied on a court document, because it appears, on the dismissal, that he completed a diversion – that he participated in some sort of program in lieu of prosecution.”

(12/19/2016) Houston Press
DA Anderson Personally Dismisses DWI Case Against Prominent Lawyer

Defense attorneys who handle DWI cases told the Press Monday that Anderson’s direct involvement in a misdemeanor case struck them as “incredibly odd,” as attorney JoAnne Musick put it.

“It’s not unusual that Buzbee was given the diversion program. But it is virtually unheard of for it to be dismissed early (before the one year period lapsed) and even more unusual that Devon would sign the dismissal,” Musick said in an email. “Usually that is left to the chief prosecutor in the court who has the file on the completed diversion.”

(9/28/2016) Houston Press
Criminal Defense Lawyers say ADA Connie Spence Shouldn’t be a Judge

Defense attorney JoAnne Musick said a primary red flag was Spence’s alleged misconduct in the Linda Carty murder trial. Carty was sent to death row after Spence and her fellow trial prosecutor, Craig Goodhart, persuaded a jury that Carty instructed three men to kidnap her neighbor so Carty could steal her neighbor’s newborn baby. The mother was later found dead in the trunk of a car tied to Carty. But in a post-conviction hearing this year, star witnesses whose testimony helped convict Carty came forward to accuse Spence and Goodhart of threatening them and coercing certain testimony. A retired DEA agent also chimed in to accuse Spence of coercion.

Musick said that, when it comes to bail reform, activists and attorneys are calling for more authority to be placed in the hands of these magistrates. As it stands, Musick and various other attorneys the Press has talked to in the past said that magistrates simply follow the instructions given to them by judges—which may explain why they so rarely stray from the bail schedule when setting a person’s bail. Reformers want the next magistrate and the current ones who are sued to actually start exercising discretion and treating each person before them as an individual.

“It’s extremely disheartening that these people are placed here with no authority to exercise discretion,” Musick said. “They really do not deviate from the bail schedule—and it makes sense, because they’re beholden to the judges. The judges appoint them and employ them. Why would they appoint someone who doesn’t follow their rules?”

JoAnne Musick, a defense attorney who is past president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, said she is skeptical that no cases have been adversely affected.

“Every property custodian comes in and testifies how great their system is — but in these audits that’s not what they’re finding,” she said. “They’re having to dig stuff up. …How do you know it’s not been tampered with, it’s not altered, it’s not decayed?”

 

(9/23/2016) Houston Chronicle
Precinct 7 has concerns about missing evidence – after the Precinct 4 debacle, the DA finally gives immediate notice

JoAnne Musick, a former president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, expressed dismay at receiving yet another DA’s notice that could impact pending or closed criminal cases and the lives of many local residents.

“At least the DA acknowledged the issue and provided notice,” Musick said. “But what does this say about our smaller law enforcement agencies? There is no oversight. No accountability. Certainly our district attorney has not been working with them on evidence preservation. And they are not using best practices to catalog and store evidence.”

 

(9/21/2016) Houston Chronicle
1,000 Cases Likely Compromised by the 14390726_10206010579458431_717751015013067810_nDestruction of Evidence by Harris County Constable Precinct 4, DA failed to notify defense which could cause hundreds of writs

“The response from the Harris County district attorney has been nearly nonexistent,” said JoAnne Musick, former president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association. “Despite having known of the evidence destruction since February, it took … months and a flood of negative press before they saw fit to even begin notifying defense attorneys.”

 

(9/1/2016) SEO, SEM, PPC Internet Marketing
Musick & Musick launches new website with clean design and is mobile friendly

(8/25/2016) HCCLA’s Reasonable Doubt
JoAnne Musick discusses Mary Frances Prevost Twitter war, the Harris County Constable Precinct 4 evidence debacle, and the stressors of criminal cases (video available)

(8/25/2016) Simple Justice
Is San Diego Lawyer Mary Frances Prevost Unhinged?

(8/6/2016) Pursuit of Texas Radio – Charles Adams (aka Big Angry)
Big Angry interviews Earl Musick and JoAnne Musick as well as Ronnie Killen (famed chef and restaurant owner)
mp3 available here

 

(7/29/2016) Houston Chronicle
Audit: Crime lab lacks self-rule (Houston Forensic Science Center, fancy name, still HPD Crime Lab)
for more information: JoAnne’s analysis and the full audit report

(7/24/2016) Houston Chronicle
Acclaimed investigator takes fall in Goforth case

TexasBarToday_TopTen_Badge_VectorGraphic(7/22/2016) Texas Bar Today
Top 10 Blog Post – Can You Ever Pay a Debt to Society

 

(7/20/2016) Houston Chronicle
Hate crime protection for police is right instinct, wrong move

(7/20/2016) CW39 News Fix
Teenager who ran onto NRG Stadium field to meet Lionel Messi appears in court

(7/13/2016) Texas Standard Radio
On the year anniversary of Sandra Bland’s death, jail reform in Waller County

(6/29/2016) KHOU 11 News
Messi fan who rushed the field makes court appearance

(6/2/2016) San Antonio Express News
Houston teen accused of killing girlfriend will remain in jail until trial, judge rules

(6/1/2016) Mimesis Law, Fault Lines Blog
CROSS: JOANNE MUSICK, CRIMINAL LAW FROM BOTH SIDES NOW

(5/27/2016) Mimesis Law, Between the Lines
JoAnne Musick discusses the Colorado Bubble Gun and Zero Tolerance in Schools which left a kindergartener expelled (video)
Discussion via podcast

(5/24/2016) Houston Chronicle
Lawsuit Against County for Bonding Practices; JoAnne Musick volunteered to represent Odonnel,  McGruder and Ford in their county cases.

(5/4/2016) Simple Justice – A Criminal Defense Blog
The 800 Lb. Doggie In The Harris County Jury Room

(5/3/2016) Houston Chronicle
CPS should have responded promptly to allegations of child abuse

(5/3/2016) Houston Chronicle
Did K9 Presentation at Courthouse Influence Jurors?

(5/3/2016) ABC13 Eyewitness News
Did K9 Presentation at Courthouse Influence Jurors?

img_4417(4/22/2016) Texas Bar Today
Top 10 Blog Post: Can My Client Be Impeached With Prior Juvenile Adjudications?

 

(4/20/2016) Correctional News
Committee Releases Operations Report for Waller County Jail

(4/17/2016) Associated Press
Changes at Texas jail where Bland died difficult to attain

(4/15/2016) Officer.Com
Jail Changes Recommended Following Death

(4/14/2016) Breitbart Texas
Post-Sandra Bland Recommendations for Law Enforcement Made

(4/14/2016) Houston Chronicle
Findings of Sandra Bland jail death probe released

(4/14/2016) Off The Kuff
Bland committee makes its recommendations for Waller County jail

waller

(4/13/2016) Houston Public Media
Committee Makes 9 Recommendations For Waller County Jail After Death Of Sandra Bland

(4/13/2016) Texas Standard Radio
After Bland’s Death, Report Suggests Jail Overhaul To Address Mental Health

(4/12/2016) Houston Chronicle
Committee recommends changes to Waller County Jail

(4/12/2016) NBC 2 KPRC Houston
Waller County Jail recommended practices released

(4/12/2016) Texas Tribune
Bland Committee Calls for New Jail, Body Cameras

(4/1/2016) CNN
Claude Wilkerson former Texas death row inmate accused of holding sex slave hostage

(3/31/3016) Fox13
Ex death row inmate Claude Wilkerson accused of holding woman hostage as a sex slave

(3/29/2016) Atlanta Black Star
Texas Prosecutor Outs DA Who “Advised” Him to Exclude Black Jurors

(3/22/2016) Houston Chronicle
Local DA encourages blocking blacks from juries, Wharton County prosecutor says

TexasBarToday_TopTen_Badge_Small(3/18/2016) Texas Bar Today
Top 10 Blog Post: My Client Says He is Innocent but Wants to Plead

 

(3/17/2016) Houston Chronicle
Suspect in pizzeria killing had violated parole twice

(3/3/2016) 9News – Colorado
How Claude Wilkerson got off death row

(3/1/2016) Houston Chronicle
Criminal defense groups ask court to reject gang injunction as unconstitutional

(2/2016) Crimes, Criminals, and the Cops Who Chase Them
The Judge Who Had a Price Tag: the arrest of Judge Garth Bates for bribery

(2/11/2016) Houston Chronicle
Sheriff admits he has regrets – Sex scandal in department, his comments in Goforth case weigh on him

(2/10/2016) Houston Chronicle
Hickman concerned about population growth

(2/3/2016) Attorney Murray Newman’s Blog
Donations for Kirby Taylor

(1/24/2016) Houston Chronicle
Sheriff slashes number of internal jail inspectors

(1/7/2016) HCCLA’s Reasonable Doubt
JoAnne Musick discusses Sandra Bland, Texas Open Carry, and Obama’s Executive Orders on gun control (video available)

 

2015


(10/15/2015) HCCLA’s Reasonable Doubt
JoAnne Musick discusses Deputy Goforth’s murder and his mistress; DNA evidence proven to be more fallible than ever thought and calls thousands of convictions to doubt; and Harris County’s First Chance Intervention Program after first year of implementation (video available)

(9/25/2015) Houston Chronicle
DA’s office investigating allegations of prosecutorial misconduct

(7/31/2015) Huffington Post (Crime Blog)
Sandra Bland Conspiracy Theories Officially Debunked With Release of New Jailhouse Footage — Waller County Not Totally Off the Hook

(7/29/2015) Off The Kuff
Three panels investigating Sandra Bland’s death

(7/28/2015) The Texas Tribune
Besieged Waller County Officials Release More Tapes

(7/27/2015) Houston Chronicle
2nd panel appointed to review Bland case

(7/27/2015) Houston Chronicle
Waller DA assigns outside prosecutor, releases Sandra Bland toxicology report

(7/23/2015) HCCLA’s Reasonable Doubt
Earl Musick discusses legal issues (video)

(7/8/2015) San Antonio Express News
Judge Cites Prosecutorial Misconduct in Temple Case

(6/15/2015) Texas Lawyer Magazine
Texas Lawyer: Letter to the Editor re: John Bradley

(4/15/2015) Houston Chronicle
ATTORNEY: ‘HARD TO BELIEVE’ INDICTED JAILERS NOT SCAPEGOATS

(1/24/2015) The Courier of Montgomery County
Rape Suspect gets 13 years

 

2014


(9/11/2014) Houston Chronicle
Decision to indict trucker may have been more than skin deep

(7/2/2014) ABA Journal
Lawyers give info cards to defendants outside courtroom to protest judge’s arraignment procedure

“We believe he’s coercing defendants to either waive their right to a lawyer or enter a plea of guilty without their lawyer being present,” attorney JoAnne Musick told the Chronicle while helping to hand out written material. Musick is president elect of the HCCLA. “We’ve had complaints from people who asked for a lawyer and instead he handed them plea papers and had them enter a plea of guilty.”

(6/27/2014) ABC 13 KTRK Houston
Judge Accused of Violating Defendants’ Rights

(6/27/2014) Houston Chronicle
Defense attorneys protest Houston judge’s procedures

 

2013


(12/19/2013) Houston Chronicle
DNA on baby blanket links former deputy to alleged rape

(11/15/2013) Prison Legal News
Judges seldom disciplined in Texas

(10/22/2013) Houston Chronicle
2 lieutenants charged with sexual harassment

(2/26/2013) Houston Chronicle Blog
Lawyers oppose Reciprocal Discovery bill

(2/14/2013) Old River-Winfree Community News
Chambers County Deputy Sheriff Sentenced to 10 Years

(2/13/2013) Robert Fickman Blog
Compelling case for opposing reciprocal discovery

 

2012


(5/2/2012) Houston Chronicle
DPS chemist has lawyers checking for tainted evidence and hundreds of cases to be reviewed

(4/22/2012) Houston Chronicle
In Harris County, a guilty plea often the best choice
Mass pleas and lack of personal bonds result in Hobson’s Choice for the accused: protest your innocence and stay in jail longer or plea guilty and get out faster

(4/20/2012) Houston Chronicle
Letter to Chronicle regarding Metro and TSA searches on its passenger buses

(4/17/2012) Austin Statesman
Judicial Misconduct: Judicial misdeeds are often kept secret

(2/3/2012) Houston Chronicle
Judicial Misconduct is rarely taken seriously and rarely punished

(1/6/2012) Houston Chronicle
Jail Population decrease eases overcrowding: Earl Musick, president of Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, cheered the drop in jail population, but said his group remains concerned at the number of inmates who are awaiting trial, unable to make bail.

 

2011


(10/27/2011) Houston Chronicle
Perry asked to grant DNA testing to death row inmate
Death Penalty Information

(10/6/2011) Houston Chronicle
Juvenile court case appears to turn juvenile

 

2010


(9/23/2010) Houston Chronicle
Political party, efficiency key in race for district clerk

(6/29/2011) Houston Chronicle
U.S. Attorney for Southern District Applauded – Ken Magidson

(6/28/2011) Houston Chronicle
Obama taps Ken Magidson for US Attorney for Houston’s Southern District of Texas

(6/15/2010) Houston Chronicle
Botched fingerprint work raises questions with HPD Crime Lab

(4/24/2010) Houston Chronicle
$4.4M grant key to new Harris County public defense office

(3/29/2010)  Woman Charged in Fatal Hit and Run at Bear Creek Park
Houston Chronicle
ABC13 Houston

(1/26/2010) Houston Chronicle
Backlog woes continue at HPD lab

(1/23/2010) Houston Chronicle
Officer shootings show no signs of abating

(1/13/2010) Houston Chronicle
Man sentenced to 9 years in death of Art Car curator

 

2009


(12/9/2009) Houston Chronicle
Lykos: New drug policy to be re-evaluated in 6 mos.

(11/8/2009) Houston Chronicle
For inmates, getting clean means getting in a long line

(10/9/2009) Houston Chronicle
Fake Intoxilyzer tests invalidate stacks of Harris Co. DWIs

(10/3/2009) Houston Chronicle
Public defender office plan worries some Harris judges

(9/28/2009) Houston Chronicle
More residents shot by Harris officers

(9/26/2009) Houston Chronicle
‘Hybrid’ public defenders may fill gaps

(9/5/2009) Houston Chronicle
Questions of access: GOP chair batting .500 on positions concerning judge and Al Jazeera

(9/3/2009) Houston Chronicle
Although Harris judge a defendant, he keeps privileges

(8/28/2009) Houston Chronicle
Prosecutors seek more answers in judge’s sex case

(8/23/2009) Houston Chronicle
Prosecutors bail on new Harris County DA

(8/2/2009) Houston Chronicle
Sound policy: District attorney’s program to rehab first-time DWI offenders is the right approach

(7/29/2009) Houston Chronicle
Defense lawyers call DA’s DWI proposal coercive

(7/29/2009) Houston Chronicle
Defense lawyers fault hard-sell DWI diversion plan

(6/9/2009) Houston Chronicle
Harris County tops DWI fatalities for large U.S. counties

(5/29/2009) Houston Chronicle
Harris DA admits plan to help clear some DWIs hard sell

(5/6/2009) Houston Chronicle
Harris officer fired for going too far in theft of wife’s $16: Sheriff’s lieutenant fired over car wash investigation; $16 theft prompted officer to launch full-scale probe in Humble

(2/13/2009) Houston Chronicle
Inmate to be charged in 2002 Houston assault on boy, 8

 

2008


(7/10/2008) Houston Chronicle
Houston judge trims bail to $1 million for theft suspect

(7/9/2008) Houston Chronicle
Prosecutors: Houston clerk embezzled $6 million to live in luxury

(4/21/2008) Houston Chronicle
It’s a big honor for dad-daughter team

(1/6/2008) Houston Chronicle
7 years of barbs, bouquets for DA: As Rosenthal exits race amid scandal, opinions vary about his tenure in office

 

2007


(11/28/2007) Houston Chronicle
Former Officer gets 5 years in prison for lying to a grand jury

(11/27/2007) Houston Chronicle
Former HPD Officer Matamoras convicted for lying to a grand jury

(9/4/2007) Houston Chronicle
Arguing lawyers prolong Slade’s trial

(8/21/2007) ABC News
A Woman’s Intuition: ‘I Knew Something Was Wrong’

 

2002


(12/12/2002) Houston Chronicle
Volunteer fire chief indicted in 3 thefts

(12/2/2002) Houston Chronicle
Water-meter inspector facing bribery charge

(8/5/2002) Houston Chronicle
Former deputy sentenced in record-tampering case

 

2001


(11/21/2001) Houston Chronicle
Former court employee indicted on theft charges

(10/5/2001) Houston Chronicle
Student’s class project nets B+ … and a felony conviction

(10/4/2001) Houston Chronicle
8 felony indictments against JP dismissed

(10/3/2001) Houston Chronicle
Indictments against peace justice thrown out

(1/4/2001) Houston Chronicle
Law named for Blando put into use by prosecutor Earl Musick

 

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(9/24/1983) United Press International

Houston Oiler Willie Tullis Surrenders