I am confused. What authority did Baird have to release Stewart on bail to begin with? Does 44.04(b) not apply in Travis County? 44.04(a) does not seem to apply because the motion for new trial is no longer pending. Furthermore, that statute may not apply to motions for new trial as to punishment only. Why are we talking about the authority of the court to establish the conditions of bail, when it could not grant bail to begin with? This whole case seems to be an abuse of the change in the law that permits the trial court to grant a partial new trial. Besides, I have never seen punishment being so fine-tuned. 25 is disproportionate but 20 is right on? Give me a break.
You are trying to find logic in the decisions of a judge who is openly hostile to the application of the law and the work of prosecutors. He had that same track record when he served on the Court of Criminal Appeals. Eventually, the voters of Texas asked him to leave.
The same court of appeals that heard the mandamus will decide the appeal of the decision to grant a new trial.
See this opinion from Judge Baird issued today:
II. Appellate Jurisdiction and Hierarchy
As noted above, even though we specifically refused to address appellant's Rule 403 arguments, the court of criminal appeals in Page IV nevertheless held that the admission of the extraneous offense evidence did not violate Rule 403.
We are at a loss as how the court of criminal appeals could render any decision related to Rule 403. For more than seventeen years, that court has recognized that arguments under Rule 404(b) and Rule 403 are separate and distinct, requiring specific objections and separate arguments on appeal. See Montgomery v. State, 810 S.W.2d 372, 388 (Tex. Crim. App. 1990) (holding objection under Rule 404(b) was insufficient to invoke Rule 403). And for an even longer period of time, the court of criminal appeals has recognized that its discretionary review jurisdiction is limited to "decisions" made by the court of appeals. Lee v. State, 791 S.W.2d 141, 142 (Tex. Crim. App. 1990) (explaining that an appellate issue is not "ripe for review" until the court of appeals has reached the merits of that issue).
Despite those longstanding holdings, the court of criminal appeals in Page IV reached the merits of an issue never addressed by this Court. Courts of appeals are intermediate appellate courts and, as such, are "duty bound" to apply the law as interpreted by the court of criminal appeals. Taulung v. State, 979 S.W.2d 854, 857 (Tex. App.-Waco 1998, no pet.). Consequently, we cannot disturb the express holding of Page IV that the admission of the extraneous offense evidence did not violate Rule 403, even though we believe that the court of criminal appeals was without jurisdiction to make that holding. See Tex. Const. art. V, �� 5; Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 44.45 (Vernon 2006); Tex. R. App. P. 66.1.
[This message was edited by JAS on 02-28-08 at .]
Defense lawyer held in contempt for lewd gesture at judge
Adam Reposa jailed briefly while representing DWI client.
By Steven Kreytak
Thursday, March 20, 2008
An Austin defense lawyer was jailed briefly last week after being accused of making a lewd gesture at a judge while representing a driving while intoxicated client in court.
[Judge] Breland ordered Reposa taken into custody and returned to court the next morning for a sentencing hearing. Hand written on the bottom of the order above the initials "JB" was: "No bond without my approval."
However, [Adam] Reposa was released on a personal bond signed by state District Judge Charlie Baird later that day. Baird said the law requires that judges set bond in lawyer-contempt cases.
[For details on the contempuous conduct, read the
rest of the story.]
I believe Baird was correct in his interpretation of the law.
I don't believe he would have done the same for a prosecutor. And therein lies the problem. He has exhibited a deliberate hostility to the work of prosecutors and a strong indifference to the equal application of the law.
Only a couple of weeks earlier, he was prepared to hold a prosecutor in contempt of court for refusing to hand over original evidence in a pending robbery case. A robbery case in which he had altered his own prison sentence after deciding he needed to be more lenient. A robbery case in which he then released the robber on bond.
Oh, this judge knows all about the law. He knows the various loopholes and nooks and crannies. While that might make some of his rulings "legally correct", it does not mean that they must be viewed as appropriate or impartial in their application.
The same story was available when he served on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
It's not like this is a discretionary decision. Officers of the court who are accused of contempt MUST be released on a PR bond upon request. Gov't Code 21.002(d). I don't see what else the judge could've done in this instance, unless we're advocating he break the law just because we think he would in another circumstance.
Baird reversed. Again.
'Real World: Austin' assault case revived
Attack on member of reality show cast was shown on TV.
By Steven Kreytak
Friday, May 02, 2008
An appeals court has revived the criminal case against a man accused of delivering an eye-crushing sucker punch to a "Real World: Austin" cast member near Sixth Street in 2005, an incident later televised on MTV.
The 3rd Court of Appeals in Austin reversed Thursday a ruling made by state District Judge Charlie Baird a year ago that barred prosecutors from pursuing aggravated assault charges against Ryan Getman, 31.
The 2 reader comments on this story are interesting.
News: May 30, 2008
The Honorable Charlie Baird
Judge Baird dispenses evenhanded justice - and Travis County prosecutors don't know what to make of him
By Jordan Smith
Friday mornings are always busy in Travis County's 299th District Court. Defendants and family members sit in the gallery, a handful of county prosecutors and court personnel sifts through stacks of case files making notes and consulting with colleagues, and a gaggle of defense attorneys crowds in front of the bench, waiting their turn to approach. Presiding is District Judge Charlie Baird, on the bench in coat and tie. He doesn't often wear his formal black robe � and he rarely dons it on Friday, when he plows through a lengthy docket. This is a felony court, and that means serious business: burglaries and robberies, family violence and sexual assaults, drug cases and murders. The Friday docket has a bit of everything � including probationers eligible for early release, state motions to revoke probation for others, defendants wanting out of jail on bond, and cases to be disposed of through plea bargain agreements. There are, inevitably, many of those; some 90% of all criminal cases end in a bargain � generally, a sentence negotiated between a prosecutor and defense counsel. Baird, who was elected to the bench in 2006, has approximately 900 active cases on his docket; without the plea bargain system in place, the work of the criminal justice system would grind to a halt.
In that aspect, Baird's court is typical of any felony criminal court. What makes the 299th different is Baird himself.
[... snip ...]
Full story about The Honorable Charlie Baird
That's the funniest article I've read in a long time. Two of my favorite parts:
Maybe they oughta read this thread; it's only going to get longer as he continues on the bench.
I think you can see the reader comments at this link: Link
The above link only gave me the story.
The Lizard Man is innocent!
That would seem to be a specific example of the judge not knowing the law. Too bad the article's author missed it.
So much for journalistic objectivity.
I thought it was interesting that the only lawyer willing to have his name used in the article was Keith Hampton. Oh, and Charlie Baird. Wonder who pitched this idea for the article to the Chronicle. Every time I read that liberal rag I get mad.
The story tells about how Republicans won all the elected positions in the 1990s and that Baird was mostly writing dissents before he lost his seat.
Since the author already told us that Judge Baird disagrees with the rest of the judiciary on matters of law, how is it "amazing" when the appeals court disagrees with him? Even reading the story in the light most favorable to Judge Baird, there is insufficient evidence to support the charge that the ruling against him was "amazing."
Unfortunately Judge Baird has devoted followers in similar high places
I'm not sure the term "objective" can be used in connection with the Chronicle!
The AMAZING Houston Chronicle
Now it all makes sense.
We're talking about the Austin Chronicle.
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