Guest Blog: Outstanding Criminal Defense Lawyer Earl Musick’s Compelling Case For Opposing Reciprocal Discovery

Friends- Mr. Earl Musick is a trusted  friend, an outstanding Criminal Defense Lawyer, and a recent  Past President of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association. He has been a Criminal Defense Lawyer for 10 years. Earl is   partners with his daughter Joanne Musick.  Joanne is also an outstanding criminal defense lawyer and a recent Past President of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association. Before Earl   became a   criminal defense lawyer, Earl  Musick served as a Houston Police Officer for 31 years. Earl was a legendary police officer. As a police Officer, Earl personally arrested a corrupt Harris County  District Court Judge. Earl Musick also served as a Harris County Assistant District Attorney for 4 ½ years. Earl Musick is in the unique position of having served in all three areas of the criminal justice system.  Earl’s word is good as gold.  As the saying goes, “If he tells you tomorrow is Christmas, you can hang your stocking”. With Earl’s Permission I am posting his comments about the proposed Reciprocal Discovery Bill as a Guest Blog. Thank you Earl & Joanne Musick for all   that you do for the cause of  Liberty. We are all in your debt.   Robb Fickman

Earl Musick says:

I am adamantly opposed to any bill that requires the defense to give their witness list to the STATE.  The STATE is extremely powerful.  As a prosecutor in Harris County, I never lost a motion and I won every hearing where I disagreed with the defense motions filed.  Why?  Not because I was a good lawyer, but because I represented the STATE.

Most of the law enforcement agencies have written orders, requiring police officers to contact the prosecutor first before talking with a criminal defense lawyer.  Most officers refuse to even talk with criminal defense lawyers.  The vast majority of jurors believe police officers credibility above other witnesses.  There are several articles written on why officers lie to the courts and when we  review cases we see their lies every day.  Police officers even misrepresent the truth on minor matters that have no bearing on the case.  The bottom line, discovering their names are of no use to the defense bar.

As for most of the other witnesses for the State, they mostly do not want to talk with defense lawyers and the STATE instructs them they do not have to talk with the defense if they do not want to.  We are often able to convince civilian witnesses to talk with us about the case and when they do, we usually learn that the police officer making the report has misrepresented the truth.  The problem we now face is whether we can share that information with the STATE in order to have the charges dismissed.  Last year, I shared such information with the STATE only to have them amend the information three different times, trying to fix the officer’s lies.  When it became obvious his  lies could not be fixed, they dismissed the charge.

I do not want the STATE contacting my witnesses before trial.  The STATE can be very intimidating and my past experiences with many prosecutors strongly suggest not giving them a list of witnesses I plan on calling.  Almost daily, a defense subpoenaed witness will not appear in court.  When called they usually say, I talked with the prosecutor and they said I did not need to come.  All of these things happen way too often in HarrisCounty and more and more innocent citizens are convicted of crimes they did not commit.  The Supreme Court has sent a strong message that they are serious about Brady.  Brady and the cases that follow give the defense the necessary discovery.  Brady has more teeth than any law the legislature might pass.

I have read the bill and also the North Carolina Statute and I am still adamantly opposed.

Earl D. Musick, Attorney at Law
Musick & Musick, LLP
397 N. Sam Houston Pkwy E., Suite 325
Houston, Texas 77060
voice    832-448-1148
fax       832-448-1147
www.MusickLawOffice.com

 

About Robert Fickman

Robert Fickman is a criminal defense attorney with 33 years experience in defending the citizen accused in both state and federal court. He is a past president of HCCLA and remains active in its mission.

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