Browsing: Thoughtful Criminals

5397173156_4f063c388a_z-2Bill Strain/Flickr

Houston defense attorney Randy Schaffer says the only solid evidence Harris County prosecutors had against his client in his 2002 capital murder trial was that he admitted to being present when his drug dealer was killed.

But then a jailhouse witness named Karl Jones took the stand, and he told the jury that, yes, actually, David Holford had confessed to committing the murder while they were sitting in the privacy of a holdover cell. Holford was convicted.

Jailhouse snitches are always a red flag to Schaffer, who says that in his 40-plus years of experience he has never once encountered jailhouse witness testimony used ethically in a capital case. There’s a certain irony about these jailhouse snitches: They are the most inherently unreliable witnesses, yet they are often testifying in the most high-stakes trials. Their testimony is generally only necessary when most other evidence against defendants is weak — yet those are also the cases in which a wrongful conviction is most likely.


A mailbox in Miami got an unwelcome delivery this morning. After receiving reports of an explosion, authorities discovered that an “acid bomb” had gone off in a mailbox.

At least it wasn’t a bill! Amirite, fellow nonrich people? Bills. Those things just suck, huh?

Crap humor aside, the explosion happened just before 5 a.m. in the 5200 block of NW Fourth Street. The mailbox stands outside a duplex. Miami New Times has the story. 

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The shelter does everything it can to place every “adoptable” animal housed at the
shelter. But in some cases — if an animal is sick, aggressive, or
suffering due to severe kennel stress, for instance — staff opts for
euthanization. Samantha Martin is apparently unsympathetic to such arguments, and allegedly vandalized the shelter to make her anti-euthanization point. City Pages has the full story.