During his year as President, we had three significant events. First TCDLEI purchased our new building and TCDLA signed its new lease with TCDLEI. Second, our executive director Joseph Martinez signed his second contract with TCDLA. Third, TCDLA created a research App for the iPhone which lead to the development of an app for the Droid. Also, there was a return to yesterday on our President's Trip to Napa where the camaraderie of "old" among the participants was wonderful.
As the title of his first column (“On the Shoulders of Giants”) indicated, Stanley Schneider stressed recognizing the importance of those who built this association. And Stan again turned to the question of fairness in our justice system, lamenting the passing of judges like Rusty Duncan and Sam Houston Clinton, who believed in the law and doing what’s right, not what voters might approve. As Stan wrote, “We make a difference every day by reminding judges, prosecutors, and the media that our clients and their stories are real.”
To that end, the association strengthened, in Stan’s term, the push to provide CLE training for judges thanks to a grant from the CCA. The Texas State Forensic Science Commission was created, as Stan noted, “legislatively charged with investigating and determining whether proper forensic science techniques and procedures were used by law enforcement in particular cases,” following the uproar surrounding the execution of Todd Willingham based on flawed science. The subsequent politicizing of the commission didn’t deter Stan’s effort to push for fairness in justice, particular as it concerns the death penalty.
Above all, Stan wrote of the burden of the criminal defense lawyer, “that part of our burden and responsibility . . . that we take on our client’s pain in order to tell his story.”