I have been critical of Harris County’s uber-left District Attorney Kim Ogg and will continue to call attention to her anti-police attitude. But when Ogg doers something right, I will not hesitate to commend her for it. This is one of those moments.
In 2005, Alfred DeWayne Brown was convicted and sentenced to death for the murders of a Houston police officer and a store clerk during a robbery. Then prosecutor Don Rizzo knowingly withheld phone records from the defense and the jury that would have acquitted Brown of the murders. Instead, Brown spent nearly 10 years on death row.
In 2014, during the appeal of Brown’s conviction, the prosecution and defense both agreed the failure to disclose the phone records was “inadvertent.” Thus an oversight sent Brown to death row, or so it seemed.
In 2015, the Court of Criminal Appeals ordered Brown to be released. DA Devon Anderson then dismissed the case on grounds there was insufficient evidence for a retrial. Brown has filed a civil lawsuit against the Harris County DA’s office.
Inadvertent ….. not so fast.
On Friday Ogg announced that her office had found evidence that Rizzo knowingly withheld phone records from the defense and the jury that would have corroborated Brown’s alibi that he was at his girlfriend’s apartment at the time of the murders. That information was contained in an email HPD Officer Breck McDaniel sent to Rizzo on April 22, 2003 that was recently found by Ogg’s office.
Ogg has released the following statement:
“The Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct require that “the appropriate disciplinary authority” shall be informed when a lawyer becomes aware that another lawyer has “committed a violation of applicable rules of professional conduct that raises a substantial question as to the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in all other respects.
Accordingly, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office will notify the State Bar of Texas of the newly discovered evidence so that it may investigate the prosecutor’s professional conduct while handling the Brown case.”
Disciplinary action by the State Bar? Suspension or Disbarment? Hell no! That sorry bastard Rizzo should be locked up for the same amount of time Brown spent on death row. 10 years!
During my law enforcement career, I never wanted to see a defendant wrongly convicted. I do not see how Rizzo can live with himself.
As much as I dislike her, Ogg deserves to be commended for seeking justice in this case.