‘This is Where the rubber stamp meets the road’


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Waco – As the hour wore on, the television types grew restless, looking for a new sound byte. Finally, the dean of the court reporters, Tommy Witherspoon of the Waco “Tribune-Herald,” said, “I hate to put it this way, but we were all hoping we would hear something new…”

A female talking head chimed in, asking, “Why do this now?”

Judge Susan Criss, who now practices law from a Harker Heights office after a career holding down a District Court in Galveston, explained that the Grand Jury has just acted, indicting 106 people for the criminal conspiracy crime of agreeing to commit murder, an aggravation to the charge of engaging in organized criminal activity.

It was clearly past them.

For an hour, she and board certified criminal law specialist Susan Anderson of Dallas had hammered at the facts of the state’s case – which are unknown – insisting time and again that it will be up to the State of Texas to prove in exacting detail just how these people did all this – conspiracy to commit murder.

In the wings stood members of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, specialists in areas such as discovery, speedy trial, bail, indictments, scientific testing, who had traveled into town from all over the state to meet with 25 attorneys representing persons charged in the Twin Peaks – melee? Is that a fair description of what happened?

What happened, the judge and the defense lawyer explained – more than once – is a group of well-disposed persons, several hundred of them, came to a meeting at Waco to hear about legislative items pending at the time, which was noon, on Suday, May 17. It is something they do routinely, every biennial; there is nothing out of the ordinary about it.

When violence erupted, dozens were shot – nine fatally – and 177 persons were charged with this racketerring offense.

Shot by whom? They don’t know. They don’t have the ballistics evidence, as yet.

All the defendants were charged with an identical offense on affidavits of probable cause that were identical save for the names. What this legal oligarchy has done in terms of skewed and out of plumb power relations is actually breathtaking to behold.

What else can be said?

Why do this now?

Because, said Susan Anderson, this is where the rubber stamp meets the road.

They still didn’t get it. You could tell by listening to their lame questions.

Finally, a lady lawyer whose name was not carried distinctly on the audio said, with considerable anger, “Are you going to tell them we don’t have to prove they are innocent? Are you just going to stand there with your hands in your mouths and…”

Listen and learn just what the lawyers intend to do. It’s an earful.

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