Those who are interested in the history of law could do much worse than to read the letters of Pliny the Younger*. The second century Roman lawyer and magistrate’s letters are still preserved in near perfect form; the most famous of these is Epistle #10 to the Emperor Trajan.

Written in 112 C.E. – aka A.D. – its primary interest to most historians is that it’s the first written mention of Christians outside of the Bible (and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the non-canonized Gospels, etc. – in other words, the first “pagan” reference). Pliny asks Trajan what he should do: should he execute these pesky Christians whose crimes don’t include any sort of rabble rousing or trouble making but simply refusing to worship correctly?

Continue Reading The Crime of Meeting (On A Stated Day Before It Was Light)

From a recent PC affidavit:

…The tin contained four marijuana roaches and 6 small round pills with 2530 on one side and the letter v on the other. [Jamie’s client] said that the pills were Klonopin. I asked [Jamie’s client] if she had a prescription for Klonopin and she said she did not.

The pills were identified as Clonazepam via the Epocrates iPhone Pill Identification Application.

Continue Reading Sign Of The Times: iCop, iLawyer, iJudge

I didn’t give the prosecutor enough credit, when I pre-guessed that his response would be “out of time”. But he did throw a procedural wrinkle at me: Municipal Court judges can’t grant a writ. From Article 11.05, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure:

Art. 11.05. By Whom Writ May Be Granted.

The Court of Criminal Appeals, the District Courts, the County Courts, or any Judge of said Courts, have power to issue the writ of habeas corpus; and it is their duty, upon proper motion, to grant the writ under the rules prescribed by law.

Continue Reading Writ Update

“You don’t get a figure like mine by eating salads for lunch,” I often say, when it is either necessary or, more likely, merely personally amusing to point out that I’m no longer the fittest of the fit. But I still have a few friends left from childhood that remember me as a scrawny kid, constantly on the move, never staying still, always running, bicycling, shooting hoops, not per se “exercising” in the 40-something meaning of the word, on treadmills or ellipticals, but let’s say… “very active”. (And I wonder where my children get their energy from.)

Continue Reading Thrashing Pecans

Section 106.04. Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor

(a) A minor commits an offense if he consumes an alcoholic beverage.

(b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the alcoholic beverage was consumed in the visible presence of the minor’s adult parent, guardian, or spouse.

(c) An offense under this section is punishable