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Prosecutor Stands Up To Judge

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October 31, 2008, 11:13
Shannon Edmonds
Prosecutor Stands Up To Judge
By Steven Kreytak
Austin American-Statesman

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An armed bank robber given deferred adjudication, a form of probation, by state District Judge Charlie Baird in Travis County last year will go to prison after all.

Baird sentenced Norvin Buggage, 24, to five years in prison Wednesday after Buggage admitted to violating his probation by leaving Travis County without permission last year, Baird said.

* * *

Baird said last year he gave Buggage deferred adjudication because he believed Buggage�s story that Buggage had robbed out of desperation to provide for his two children after Hurricane Katrina chased him from his native New Orleans.

* * *

Three months after he received deferred adjudication, Buggage was arrested in New Orleans on new charges of attempted armed robbery with a firearm and battery of a police officer.

Full article: http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/courts/entries/2008/10/29/no_more_chances_for_bank_robbe.html
October 31, 2008, 11:20
P.D. Ray
If a defense attorney will never plea to a maximum offer, why should we take a minimum? (I'm sure the prosecutor had reasons, but still.)

Loved this quote from the "judge":

"I believe in second chances and third chances and any number of chances, so long as the individual impresses me that he or she is willing to take advantage of it to make something of his or her life," Baird told the American-Statesman.
October 31, 2008, 13:20
JB
Oh, he is taking advantage. Just not in a good way. Shame, shame.
November 19, 2008, 16:19
Shannon Edmonds
Someone needs to inform Hizzoner that it's not 1985 anymore, and he can't spring defendants on technicalities anymore.

Weisman v. State (3rd COA)
November 19, 2008, 21:34
JB
Oh, he knows. That's what makes it all so sad.
February 21, 2009, 10:30
JB
Baird told Garrison [a lawyer charged with numerous crimes involving dishonesty against judges] he would use the delay in the case to gauge "how sincere you are in your rehabilitation" and noted he has done the same thing in other cases.

After his November 2007 arrest for forging the judges' names, Garrison agreed to a suspension of his law license pending the outcome of his criminal cases.

Brand called Baird's delay unusual but said he could not comment further because the case is ongoing.

[Is it legal and ethical for a judge, who is supposed to hear evidence and make a decision, to suspend proceedings, to allow a defendant to, essentially, create new evidence in support of a lenient sentence? Just how long could the judge reset this case? Does the prosecutor have any remedy? Or, is this one more example to bring up in the next election?]


Rest of story.
February 21, 2009, 18:02
jws
This is disgusting. Isn't a judge supposed to be decisive? And why were Travis County prosecutors only asking for a year?? Can they file a writ of mandamus?
February 21, 2009, 18:31
R.J. MacReady
I'm sure they have their reasons.
February 23, 2009, 09:29
WHM
This could go both ways, of course. What if a judge says, "I'm going to wait a year, and then sentence you. We'll see how you do in the meantime." Assuming he does well, he expects a more lenient sentence. Assuming he does poorly, the judge might be harsher than otherwise. Would the defendant have a complaint that he should have been sentenced prior to his new problems arising? Of course, I suppose he could demand sentencing now, and threaten a speedy trial complaint. If he doesn't he may have waived any error.

I can see how, in the hands of a judge who was willing to consider both sides of this coin, that a policy like this could work well in reducing the resources spend on offenders who really don't need much in the way of rehabilitation. I would hope it would also work the other way, however.
February 25, 2009, 06:13
JB
State District Judge Charlie Baird, who on Friday said he would wait a year to decide whether former Austin criminal defense lawyer Bruce Garrison should go to prison on charges that he possessed drugs and forged judges' signatures on court documents, once received a campaign contribution from Garrison, according to campaign finance reports.
Details.
February 25, 2009, 08:40
AlexLayman
All the judges probably hit up all the attorneys for campaign donations.
February 25, 2009, 10:10
JAS
To my knowledge, most contributions are made by those in private practice, i.e., the defense bar rather than prosecutors.

JAS
February 25, 2009, 11:38
WHM
Lots of prosecutors make campaign contributions also, although $250 is probably more than the average prosecutor would donate. It's a fact of life that the wealthiest criminal practitioners will be defense lawyers, and they will contribute to their candidates. The bigger point here is that a criminal defendant is a contributor. The fact that he is also a lawyer who practices before the judge is less important than his status as a defendant in this particular case. Baird now has to worry about the appearance that he is being lenient on someone who gave him money
March 30, 2009, 12:58
concernedcitizen
One incident you'll never read about is of a 25year old female being sexually assaulted by an Austin Yellow Cab driver. The reason you won't hear about it is because Charlie Baird released the CAB DRIVER on PR BOND TWICE! The cab driver being a native of Brazil left the country! The CAB DRIVER was never out any money for bond, never faced anytime in jail, BUT the victim faced a year of counseling not only to help deal with the sexual assault, but to deal with being a victim of the judical system also. The victim had so relocate, go counseling, missed many days of work, out a lot of money for hospital bills. In fact now 2 years later and still out money on hospital bills. I could go on and on, but there really is not need - any one with any kind of consious can figure this one out. Charlie Baird did not show justice to the victim in this case. As well as many other cases - if you do your research.
March 30, 2009, 13:53
Gretchen
Concernedcitizen -
You're preaching to the choir on this forum.
April 20, 2009, 15:23
Shannon Edmonds
There he goes again:

Eight years for murder
April 20, 2009, 15:32
JB
An Austin woman says a judge up for re-election this year, shouldn't be on the bench anymore. The 27-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and blames the judge for her attacker's freedom.

Details.
April 20, 2009, 15:41
Greg Davis
2 questions:
(1) Does any defendant in Baird's court elect to have the jury assess punishment when he's on the bench?
(2) Is there a candidate who can beat Baird in the primary down there?

Let's hope the voters in Travis County are paying attention.
April 20, 2009, 19:57
AlexLayman
In the previous linked story above, the victim blames the judge because the rapist jumped a $75,000 bail. Is $75,000 low bail for sexual assault? The story didnt really say bail was too low.

Greg: He had an opponent from the DA's office but that guy backed out recently.
April 27, 2009, 16:07
WHM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by AlexLayman:
In the previous linked story above, the victim blames the judge because the rapist jumped a $75,000 bail. Is $75,000 low bail for sexual assault? The story didnt really say bail was too low.
QUOTE]
She blames him for setting a PR bond on the second charge, not for the 75K bond on the first.