No doubt these are crazy times. COVID-19 has paralyzed this country for nearly a year and a half now. But there are people that the states and the Federal Government have kept in jail awaiting trials for years (they may have already spent a year in jail before COVID hit) who continue to be offered subpar trials (trials where the participants where masks) or no trial at all. Government actor (Judges), engage in these decisions on a whim—we are going to suspend jury trials until the COVID situation gets better.
The most recent decree happened around Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Travis County, Texas. The email stated, “After collaborating with the Civil Courts, the Criminal Courts will suspend all in-person settings and jury trials while Travis County is in Stage 4 and Stage 5 of COVID precautions, effective immediately…We will let you know as soon as we are able to resume in-person and jury trials. Thank you so much for your cooperation and stay safe!”
Yes, people in the Travis County jail, whose bond is too high for them to afford, “Thank you for your cooperation and stay safe.” Yes, please stay safe in your cell with no possible escape from the COVID-19 Delta variant when it enters the jail. What about those of us who don’t want to be told to “stay safe.” What about those of us who have a job fighting for the freedom of our clients who are entitled to Due Process (Notice and an Opportunity to be Heard) when unnamed people from the County Government have decreed that your ability to leave jail even with the presumption that you are innocent has just left the building (it has, but you can’t). What about your 6th Amendment right to a Speedy Trial—wait for it—we just took that away from you as well. Why? Because we could. Because we did, and what are you going to do about it?
All we have heard for months was take the vaccine, go get vaccinated, everyone is doing it so you should do it, celebrities and famous people are taking it—get vaccinated. The vaccine is so effective, we need herd immunity—go get it. We did and we felt lousy on average the day following the second shot. Now vaccinated and ready for the new normal and the new world we are ready to resume our profession, to fight for our clients’ freedoms, but because .01% of breakthrough cases (cases where vaccinated people are getting infected with COVID) involve death, we will shut down the Court system? I don’t think so. Not on our watch. We will fight for you and we will defend your freedom. The writs of habeas corpus (to produce the body of our clients) are coming Travis County and any other place that wants to deny Constitutional rights by decree. By the way, we want the writs to be held in person—Thank you for Your cooperation and stay safe!
From your first meeting in our firm, we know you will recognize this is more than what you expected out of a law firm. We pride ourselves on professionalism in and out of court, our accessibility (our clients know they can set up an appointment and speak with us when they would like and will often email us directly about any questions or concerns), and our passion for the law. Contact our criminal defense team today by calling (512) 494-4070 or requesting a free consultation online now.
Steven Brand is a Board Certified criminal defense lawyer who graduated cum laude from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York City, achieving distinction there as a member of the Order of the Coif. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. During law school, Mr. Brand studied under attorney Barry Scheck, a nationally renowned death penalty lawyer and founder of the first innocence project. Mr. Brand is admitted to practice law in the states of Texas and New York and the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Texas, Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York (New York City), U.S. Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces, Navy/Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, Army Court of Criminal Appeals, and the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.